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#566388 - 12/10/07 12:53 PM Stage Fright  
Joined: Oct 2007
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Wendy D Offline
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Wendy D  Offline
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Atlanta, GA USA
Can some of the more experienced performers on the Boards weigh-in on stage fright? I performed in church last night and had a horrible time. I've been practicing a Christmas piece (In the Bleak Mid-Winter) frontwards and backwards for the last few months (guitar). I could play this thing in the dark, on a bus, on a train (I'm sounding like Sam I Am) anywhere really except in front of an audience. We had 50 or so people last night. My mind went completely blank in the middle of the piece and I could not remember the next measure of the song. I recovered, kept playing, and finished but I wanted to cry when I put my guitar down and returned to my seat. Is there any help for this, other than experience? Any thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated.


http://www.reverbnation.com/wendydumond

https://soundcloud.com/#mamby-p

http://www.reverbnation.com/donsechelski

Link for Blackfoot Daisy band


You think I'm just another jive folk singer but I'm a master in the art of criminology..Tom Russell
#566389 - 12/10/07 01:05 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Wendy D]  
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Janice Hopkins Offline
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Janice Hopkins  Offline
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Wendy,

All I can say is, I really feel for you, because I've always had the same problem. I always knew I could sing, but couldn't let anyone know it, because I'd just freak in front of a crowd, same thing with public speaking. I've done it and pulled it off fairly well, but twisted my insides trying to complete it. I would be very interested myself to find help with this. I always had to sing back-up or in a group. I think it is the ALONE thing. I think that's why I am a non-performing lyricist. No one is watching....

If you are serious about being a performer, I'm sure there is help and support for this...I just never sought it out...I opted for another way to get my thoughts and emotions out there.

Best of luck to you, Wendy,

Been there..still am,

Jan

#566392 - 12/10/07 01:36 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Janice Hopkins]  
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Lee Arten Offline
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It might help to mentally rehearse the performance while "seeing" yourself doing well.

I'm not a performer, but folks I know who compete in sports often use this technique. It works for them.

Lanny Basham, a competitive shooter and Olympic medalist, wrote a book called "With Winning In Mind." It's about competition but Mr. Basham states that the techniques can be aplied to other endeavors.



"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Johnson.
#566396 - 12/10/07 01:59 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Lee Arten]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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Minneapolis
Wendy, what you are experiencing boils down to one thing: adrenaline. There you are with your well-rehearsed piece...you are SO ready to play this...but you don't feel the same anymore. You are suddenly dealing with a car accident, or a murder, or an invasion of fanged alien monsters. You're body says FLEE! And sometimes too much of that chemical makes you sick to your stomach, or paralyzes you.

Check out the many articles on the internet by searching 'stage fright" or other variations of the term (musician, curing, etc). Here is one short series of tips:

http://www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/resources/articles/stagefright/index.html

In the end, knowing that you are dealing with a chemical reaction can make it easier than trying to pinpoint all the overwhelming thoughts and feelings you are experiencing onstage...it helps to focus on the task at hand, and breathe, while staying keenly aware of the effects of that "fear juice" racing through your system.

Maybe you should rehearse while people jump out at you and scare you! grin

Good luck! Stage fright is no fun. But when you learn to re-direct that adrenaline to resemble the thrill you feel on an exciting ride, you'll be "in the zone" for a great performance.

-Lyle

#566418 - 12/10/07 03:44 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
A mental block happens to all of us at some time or another. The difference is that a pro can hide it by improvisation or making it look as if it was part of the song. Manys a time during an intro "I suddenly think now what is the first line again." Adrenaline affects us all to differing degrees but experience can reduce it. Smiling before during and after the performance can help. If you know your material and have practiced the performance then that lessens the chances of making a mistake. Above all remember to breath deep and even.
Fear is a form of ignorance of the unknown. If you do not know what to expect and what is going to happen then fear and sometimes panic will take over. To reduce this be aware of the following. You DO know what is going to happen and you know what to expect. You know that the audience are on your side and they want you to succeed and entertain them. Therefore you have no problems in your mindset.
After a few years and hundreds of performances you will wonder what all the fuss was about.

#566441 - 12/10/07 05:21 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Jack Swain Offline
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Jack Swain  Offline
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Wendy, when I was young I played guitar and sang songs for years before I finally had the guts to get up and perform solo in a high school assembly. I was in band and was used to performing in band and orchestra, and I knew the song I was singing very well, however, when I got up on that stage for the first time all by myself I went blank after the first few lines of the song. I tried a few times to recover but kept hitting the same wall until I excused myself and got down. Afterwards my band director told me "that was the worse performance I have ever seen," so I was totally humiliated by it. However, I had already long before made up my mind that I was going to sing and write songs so I got up again the next time I had an opportunity. I was not particularly good the first few times, but I got progressively better. I have been making music with my guitar now for over 40 years and have been performing in clubs and various venues since 1973.

The point of this is don't get discouraged and there is probably no simple trick, other than don't give up. You will get more confident and subsequently better by just doing it. The best practice is sometimes those mistakes you make in front of an audience because it causes you to try and step up your performance the next time. Learn from it and eventually you will be able to look back and laugh about it without total embarrassment.

By the way, like Jim says even pros have those moments. A classic example of turning one of those moments into a masterpiece was Ella Fitzgerald's famous live performance of Mac The Knife where she forgot the words and just ad libbed. It wound up being a classic and can still be heard on various of her recordings.

Last edited by Jack Swain; 12/10/07 05:46 PM.
#566468 - 12/10/07 07:57 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Jack Swain]  
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Herbie Gaines Offline
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It's all repetition Wendy...Just do it a thousand times...practice your butt off until it just comes out with no thought!!!


Herbie
JPF Chicago Chapter Coordinator
http://www.herbietunes.com

#566561 - 12/11/07 02:17 AM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Herbie Gaines]  
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Wendy D Offline
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Wendy D  Offline
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Atlanta, GA USA
Thanks to all who replied. I will try to remember these comments. It's funny, I'm OK just singing. I get a little nervous but I can usually do OK. It's just when I play guitar and sing that I seem to lose it. Of course, I've only played my guitar in public a few times. I sing almost every Sunday. So there you have it.


http://www.reverbnation.com/wendydumond

https://soundcloud.com/#mamby-p

http://www.reverbnation.com/donsechelski

Link for Blackfoot Daisy band


You think I'm just another jive folk singer but I'm a master in the art of criminology..Tom Russell
#566577 - 12/11/07 03:07 AM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Wendy D]  
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Joe Wrabek Offline
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Joe Wrabek  Offline
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Herbie's right. (Hi, Herbie.) One way I deal with stage fright is by leaving absolutely nothing to chance. I know not only what I'm going to sing, but what I'm going to *say*; I have scripted it all out ahead of time. I have ideally been to the hall in advance, and talked to the guy or gal who's running the sound (always helps to be on good terms with the soundperson), and have a good idea what kind of crowd goes there and what they like. I may have visited when somebody else was playing, and observed how people reacted to what they did. If I have everything running on automatic pilot, so to speak, I have very little to be scared about.

I also have a trick I learned from some ophthamology grad students. I can de-focus my eyes (part of a series of exercises I was given to do to strengthen my eye muscles). If the crowd starts to scare me, I can just fuzz 'em out--and I can be looking straight at 'em and not see 'em. And if I can't see 'em, they can't scare me.

These days, I mostly don't have to do that. It's not because crowds don't scare me--they do, and probably always will--but I find it really useful to watch *them*, and how they're reacting to what I'm performing. If I can, I'll zero in on somebody who acts like they're really enjoying it, because it'll help my confidence.

And practice. Like Winston Churchill once said, "Never, never, never, never, NEVER give up."

Lots of luck.

Joe


#566581 - 12/11/07 03:44 AM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Joe Wrabek]  
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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New Jersey, USA
Wendy, just ENJOY playing music FOR people! For THEM.

It comes down to just that, after preparation. Once you get it, you'll be in a "can't wait" frame of mind. And while you're in the middle of playing for people, you'll feel more at ease, as you'll start to have things slow down for ya, and see they are enjoying you enjoying THEM! Be more concerned with making them feel comfortable. Think of them in your home, and you are asking what they would like to drink or eat. Look em in the eye, and know they are in their center of their world,,,just as you feel you are in yours.

We're all in our center of self,,,so they may be thinking how they look to you,,or to anyone else there. (Is my hair messed from the wind? Did I overdress or underdress for this thing? And while some are looking towards you, they may be thinking, "Why can't I get up and do that,,,play for people? She's something to be able to do that!" Etc.

So what?,,,,who cares? Just play music for them, and in no time you'll be itching to play for people anywhere,,,,any number of them. You don't have to give an essay "up there"!
It's MUSIC!!!!! People tend to like that!

People! Who are they anyway? A bunch of yous! Think of you when you watched someone play or sing. Not that big of a deal.
Have FUN!

Would you think John Lennon would have been scared to play in front of people after playing for years since 15? He was,,and when people find that out,,,,they go,,,"what for? People loved them and him". So,,,even if you can't get over some fright, you can still go out there time after time, getting better and better.

Mess ups? Common. You did great by pushing through yours. The more you play and sing,,,,the better you'll get at covering up those flubs in a flash. If not,,,make a quick joke, the pick up where you left off. People understand being human, (Ha!), and getting through things that aren't perfect.

John


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=1409522





#566583 - 12/11/07 03:51 AM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
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Hummingbird Offline
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Hi Wendy - stage fright is totally natural, everyone feels it. The trick is to not let the stage fright affect the performance. You do this by:

- being totally prepared, having practiced the songs, written the lyrics out long-hand, etc

- knowing the story of each song and who you are when singing it. Visualize the movie of the song in your mind as you sing, allow yourself to feel that, and trust yourself to paint the story with your voice & instrument

- warming up your voice before singing & tuning your instrument

- always start a set with the easiest & most comfortable song you know

- realize that mistakes *always* happen in live performance - it's a given. Trust yourself to figure it out no matter what. Most people won't even notice - believe me.

- remembering the point of performing is to communicate to the audience. Acknowledge your fear to yourself, and then close your eyes, breathe, and begin to play. Play & sing your passion for music, open up and let the audience see you for who you are.

cheers
Hummin'bird


Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

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#566654 - 12/11/07 01:12 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Hummingbird]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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I have a terrible memory, so I always have the words in front of me, may not be professional but I don't pretend to be a pro. I am not a great guitar player either, so I have two blows against me, add that I don't have a great voice, now I am in trouble, but I believe I am a fairly good writer, so if I want my songs heard, I have to sing them, so I do my best and let the chips fall where they may. Most people watching would never have the nerve to get up there and sing, so they will not be too quick to criticize.

Taking yourself too seriously will only put pressure on yourself and you will surely make a mistake. Mistakes are bound to happen, the biggest mistake would be not to try, trying and failing is better than never trying and always wondering "what if".


The more you taste the bitterness of defeat, the sweeter final victory will be

May the flowers of love forever bloom in your garden of life

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#566665 - 12/11/07 01:38 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Everett Adams]  
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D)  Offline
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HiDee Mz Wendy!

Read onea your Lyrics this AM for the First Time...& frankly, if you can write ALL your Songs THAT-Well, you got NO real Problems, Sis!

With me, it's almost a GIVEN I'll forget a line or two Onstage. Hard time remembering more'n' 3 songs I wrote, back-to-back. So What? I've seen Industry PROS forget a line, & they were smart-enough to either sing a Nonsense-Line into the "Gap"...or (& this went over BIG) sing "I know you're ALL gonna enjoy this, but I forget the line"... (& we all DID!)

Just remember you're not Up There to be Crucified, you're up there to Entertain. At any given time, you have MORE Courage than 99+% of Your Audience...(Beware that 1% that's-inebriated..& Away Ya Go!) ;-)> That Ol' Saw about picturin' the Audience isn't wearin' Clothes...& You ARE...might help...ANYTHING that keeps your Courage Up & Your Fear-of-Failin' Down is a Plus. (I like to hide behind a pair of Sunglasses...Lights don't bother me/Audience has NO IDEA whether I'm panicked or not!) That, & I LAUGH my way thru every Screw-Up now..& it works.

I think once ya can deal with Fear as a NORMAL Thing, you'll worry less-&-less about it. Jack Benny used to walk onstage for his Concert Dates "Forgetting" to bring his Violin with him...BIG LAUGH...& after that, the ice was thoroughly "Broken" & away he went...& who CARED he wasn't THAT good a Violinist?

Lookin' Forwards to Hearin' Ya Live someday!
Big Hugs,
Ol' Stan

#567063 - 12/12/07 09:29 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: ]  
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Bob Cushing Offline
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And when all else fails, there's Jim Beam!


bc
#567182 - 12/13/07 11:28 AM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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Tom Breshers Offline
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Tom Breshers  Offline
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There's that old thing where you imagine the audience is nude, then it changed to where you were supposed to imagine you are nude. Me, I find myself lining up with BC (he's a bad influence) I drink. So getting nude and drunk in church may not be that popular.

Already I regret this post...but all in fun smile eh?

Now that I'm finished being a smart alec (my nature) I'd say that everyone, no matter how seasoned get's a little jittery every now and then. I do, first set at a new club or outside venue...

First memorize the lyrics, you can do this while at work or driving to work, or whenever...You can't really give a good performance and have eye contact with the audience while singing out of a book or reading a croakie screen.

Make the song your own. Do your version. Own the song, it's yours...I "own" Stormy Monday LOL.

Make eye contact and look for the people who seem to be enjoying your performance...if there are none, oh well, it happens.

If you kinda blank out on the lyrics, ad lib, make up some. Never stop a song.

If you have a slight bobble, ignore it, tiz in the past, press on.

Perform more. The more you do it, the easier it is.

The best to you and "have fun" doing it.

tom

#567193 - 12/13/07 12:17 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Tom Breshers]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


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Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Wendy,

All good suggestions and info. Except for the Jim Beam. Drinking doesn't stop stage fright, only if you're drunk and get stage fright, you might cry in front of the audience smile

The more you do it, the better you get. Practicing everywhere was a good thing to do, and helped you do better than you would have without it. Keep practicing as much as possible. Now you have to practice singing in front of an audience. Seek out every opportunity. The more you sing in front of an audience, the easier it gets.

A little bit of "edge" is a good thing, as Lyle said, it's adrenaline and it helps. So, don't worry about the "edge" you get, simply use it. And, remember, the more you do it, the easier it gets.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#567195 - 12/13/07 12:20 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Tom Breshers]  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,218
Wendy D Offline
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Wendy D  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,218
Atlanta, GA USA
Thanks to all for the good advice! It seems the concensus is, that it comes down to two things: practice and a good coping strategy (which could be as simple as not focusing the eyes, wearing sunglasses, some kind of mental place or visualization, and if all else fails, being slightly toasted...). If I'm not singing/playing in church, I guess they are all (including the Jim Beam) in the running. Perhaps this is why so many performers have trouble with drugs and alcohol?

Again, thanks to all. I would respond to each individual but I am at work right now. My computer at home has been acting up, so I have not been able to get back on the board.


http://www.reverbnation.com/wendydumond

https://soundcloud.com/#mamby-p

http://www.reverbnation.com/donsechelski

Link for Blackfoot Daisy band


You think I'm just another jive folk singer but I'm a master in the art of criminology..Tom Russell
#567197 - 12/13/07 12:29 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Wendy D]  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,487
Tom Breshers Offline
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Tom Breshers  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,487
Panama City, FL, USA
Wendy,

I was finishing my post, when you and Mike posted and I don't think you saw it all, only the smart alec part...please revisit...

Had to stop in the middle, to take my grandson to school.

tom

#567439 - 12/14/07 01:32 AM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Wendy D]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 7,997
Mike Caro Substudio Offline
Mike Caro Substudio  Offline

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 7,997
NY
I had Stage Fright... I was afraid to get off. smile

The easisest thing to do is the old fashioned simplest thing to do..
Play and sing in front of one person first then two then three..
Then when your having a party or going to one perform a song.
Once your up to about 10- 20 you've got it under control. See sometimes all you can really see from the stage with those lights in your eyes is the first few rows of people.



Thanks!
Peace Mike
Sub

Music & Video's & Photo's
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=482602

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#567914 - 12/15/07 11:24 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Mike Caro Substudio]  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,654
Emily Sanders Offline
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Emily Sanders  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,654
Santa Monica, CA
I have battled stage fright for many years. I can't imagine using alcohol or anything else to deal with it - that just blurs the symptoms and doesn't really address the actual source of the problem....which is different for all of us.

Preparation is the key for me. If I am prepared 300%...I tend to lose about 200% as I get nervous and walk on stage......but still have the 100% left...because of solid preparation.

Also...another thing that helped me was performing for needy people in shelters. It helped me to see that performing is a form of selflessness in giving the music to others. it helped my to focus on the gift of the song, not my own worries.

Last, I don't panic as much now if I get nervous. I try to keep going and it usually fades within a few monutes.

Good luck!! smile Go for it!

Emily

#567933 - 12/16/07 12:46 AM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Emily Sanders]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,829
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,829
Indianapolis, IN USA
Something to know: If you mess up during your song (forget lyrics.. forget music.. forget your name and where you are) you'll be just fine as long as you keep going. The less you make of it, the less the audience will notice. People in an attentive audience are only focused about 50% on what you're doing. The rest is thinking of what they have to do the next morning, something that happened that day..wondering what their significant other is doing (or being mad at something they already did) and so on. If they aren't closely paying attention, they won't notice any mistake you make of any kind unless you completely stop and call attention to it. If you do that.. everyone usually notices. Otherwise, most of them are in a trance anyway. = )

The other thing I do is think about the giant universe and how we're a tiny speck in a galaxy that is a tiny spec in our quadrant of a tiny spec of space in the mix. Billions of years pass in a blink to do the universe. Your mistake will not be noticed by it. So have fun for the millisecond we all exist and leave the stress and worrying for the people on one of the other specs out there. In other words.. making a mistake during a performance is small stuff.. and don't sweat the small stuff.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
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Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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#567984 - 12/16/07 07:11 AM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Well today I am going to a jam session we run about once a month. You never know exactly who will turn up, what songs will get played and who you will play with. That is part of the fun. The place is always packed around 200 folk. Am I worried?.... NO
Why? because we all love performing and if we screw up we all have a good laugh including the audience. Let me tell you that screw ups are rare and only occur usually when a nervous inexperienced stranger decides to play something they do not know very well or suffer stagefright. Screw ups are just a part of the song we specially created just for that performance. The audience heckle and sometimes cheer the screw ups in a fun way and it is all light hearted.... Everyone has a great time warts an all.
This mentality has kept us all sane... well relatively...and does not change even for serious gigs.

#568066 - 12/16/07 03:11 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Wendy D]  
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 42
Raags Offline
Serious Contributor
Raags  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 42
Milwaukee, WI USA
Hi Wendy,

These are all great suggestions and focus point. I've lead events for over two decades now (and for several hundred people a single event), and there are several things that I use to address the issue of stage fright. First of all, the main thing is to recognize the fears we have and then to dismiss them. Fears like-- what if I look silly or self-conscious, what if I forget my lines, what if I goof up, what if my voice cracks, what if people see me sweating and looking nervous, what if people are judging me, etc. Know what the fears are and then address them-- ask yourself: what difference does it make if that happens? So what if people think I look foolish? What difference will it make 10 years from now? Really, in the end does it really matter if my voice cracks? Who cares?

A national speaker friend of mine told me once that he first acknowledges that people will judge him, that people will criticize him, and then he says the big "so what?!" Really, that "so what" is a big deal for me. I used to badger myself for all kinds of things-- not keeping a perfect practice schedule, for example-- and one year I decided that no matter what, I was always going to sing from the heart, to connect on that level to people who come to our events. And that decision changed my life.

I also remember another interesting experience I once had-- I had the realization one day that our dearest fans actually WANT us to succeed. So I always find a few of those faces to connect to when I'm up there-- even if I can't see where they are in the audience, I remind myself that they are in the room with us, enjoying every moment of what we're doing. I also sometimes will remind myself that there are likely to be a good number of "important" individuals who I have yet to connect to in the room that night with us, and that is so inspiring to me-- I WANT them to see what we do! I find that focusing on and moving toward inspiration always helps me reduce any negative emotions (fears, etc.).

Another thing I found very interesting-- when I had something that was MORE nerve-wracking for me just prior to the music event, the music event had ZERO anxiety. ZERO! No kidding! That was really amazing to experience, and a real eye-opener. I had to do one of my first live TV interviews the morning of one of our big live events, and this TV interview was really anxiety-provoking. By the time that was over, I was so relieved that the live event was a total breeze! While I'm not sure I'd recommend this approach-- it was really exhausting!-- it might be interesting to try sometime. smile

One last thing that I have discovered that I now do for my biggest events-- I schedule a massage for myself the next day, so that I have something to look forward to. Then when I'm on stage that night before, if I'm feeling any nerves, I remember the massage that is waiting for me the next day, and I relax and enjoy the live event so much more. This is something I've really come to enjoy and find it helpful to me. It's like saying... no matter what, all is well. smile

Whew! That was long-winded of me... the short of it all-- just LOVE and ADORE what you're doing and it will shine through!

smile Raags

#568081 - 12/16/07 03:42 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Raags]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,561
Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

Top 40 Poster

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,561
Minneapolis
Raags has great advice.

I just thought of one more "trick". When you feel The Fear, try to recognize what you think about it. I've found a way to tell fear "I love you".

As in: Ah, Fear, my old friend--here you are again. Welcome back! Let's have some fun!

As opposed to: Aauuugh! On no! It's that stupid Fear again. I hate it!

#568174 - 12/17/07 12:58 AM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,218
Wendy D Offline
Top 200 Poster
Wendy D  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,218
Atlanta, GA USA
Hello all, I logged-in tonight and saw there had been a few more comments on this. As it turns out, the musical leader of our church, our blind pianist, passed away of a heart attack on Friday. He was 45. If you can imagine a white, gospel, Ray Charles, you have our pianist. To be honest, I had dreams of singing when I was in high school but never really did anything about this until about two years ago when I started singing in my church choir. Mike took me aside one day and told me to stop singing soprano or I would sound like Tennesse Ernie Ford in a few years. He told me I had a "fine alto voice" and referred to me from then on as "the lead alto." Of course, our church is small and there are about five female altos, so this really means nothing in terms of any kind of measurement of my singing. Mike would always give me tips and pointers and encouraged me to start singing solos. This summer, I represented our church at several revivals. I only recently started to add guitar to my "specials." Obviously, I have more work to do on the guitar. The choir director did tell me today to be prepared to sing more, so it seems these things happen for a reason. I guess God leads us where we need to go. If I had not had a hard time performing last Sunday, I would not have come on the Board and received this wonderful advice from everyone. Now I need it more than ever until the church finds someone to fill Mike's shoes.


http://www.reverbnation.com/wendydumond

https://soundcloud.com/#mamby-p

http://www.reverbnation.com/donsechelski

Link for Blackfoot Daisy band


You think I'm just another jive folk singer but I'm a master in the art of criminology..Tom Russell
#568183 - 12/17/07 01:54 AM Re: Stage Fright [Re: Wendy D]  
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 42
Raags Offline
Serious Contributor
Raags  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 42
Milwaukee, WI USA
Dear Wendy,

What sad news. I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your music leader, Mike. And he was so young...

I'm an alto too, and I always felt there is such a good heart energy in the lower notes, so I'm grateful for that. There is a reason for everything, even if we don't see it at the moment. There must be some purpose for all that is happening with you, bringing you to sing more.

I send you my heartfelt condolences. When these things happen in life, they really put everything else in perspective.

Warmly,
Raags

#568388 - 12/17/07 05:03 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: ]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 67
tedsingingfox Offline
tedsingingfox  Offline

Serious Contributor

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 67
Taos, NM
Originally Posted by "TampaStan" Good
Jack Benny used to walk onstage for his Concert Dates "Forgetting" to bring his Violin with him...BIG LAUGH...& after that, the ice was thoroughly "Broken" & away he went...& who CARED he wasn't THAT good a Violinist?

Lookin' Forwards to Hearin' Ya Live someday!
Big Hugs,
Ol' Stan


For what it's worth, Jack Benny performed with Symphonies from around the globe. He was a SUPERB violinist when the jokes were over.

Wendy, I can relate. I actually try to turn the adrenaline into my performance. then AFTERWARDS, I disappear in to the men's room and rip my own performance to shreds. eek eek eek

And I actually have gotten so worked up at times before a show that I shut everything out...just turn it off...and tell myself over and over again how I have DONE my rehearsing, it's time to let my body do what it knows how to do, and that I will be calm and comfortable on stage. Repeating that slowly and quietly to myself (about 100 times) has saved more than one performance.

LOTS of great suggestions here, and all that matters is they can help. Keep facing your fears and sooner than later, you'll find they aren't NEARLY as scary.

Ted

#568631 - 12/18/07 02:31 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: tedsingingfox]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Wendy my heartfelt sadness goes out to your leader and his family especially at such a young age. But as they say life goes on. Whenever you get stagefright just give a big smile and think of him and how proud he would be at his lead alto singing to all the folks. Your nerves will soon vanish.

#568697 - 12/18/07 08:04 PM Re: Stage Fright [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 67
tedsingingfox Offline
tedsingingfox  Offline

Serious Contributor

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 67
Taos, NM
And, Wendy, my prayers go out to you and Mike's family.

Ted


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