In this series, “Singing on Stage”, I go over 6 invaluable elements to showmanship and how they work to comprise a great show. I’ll also offer tips along with each ~
Overcoming stage fright
This can happen to anyone. Even pros who have performed for decades… Lots of people think it’s part of your personality, to have stage fright, but not me. I think it’s a learned behavior. Just like being nervous or aggressive or passive or any other kind of behavior. And I believe it can be corrected with rehearsal:)
First and foremost, stop finding ways to “deal with” stage fright, that’s like saying, “Ok, I surrender, now what am I allowed to do while I’m in this prison”. No, don’t accept it, instead you might want to just remove it and learn to love performing. Learn to enjoy the energy of a crowd, not fear their rejection.
I’m aware that my ideas on this might not be popular, and that’s ok with me. But I feel strongly that we can control every aspect of our persona (see the Part 2 ~ Playing your role entry of this series), and that includes their bravado and courage. Once you accept that your persona doesn’t have stage fright, then you’ll see that you also don’t have to have it.
Can’t relax? Then learn to “act” relaxed. Can’t make eye contact with an audience member? Learn to “act” like you enjoy the moment you share with a person who you make eye contact with. Fake it till you make it! That silly method actually works in many situations, and overcoming stage fright is one of them.
Need motivation? Ok, realize this… fans aren’t stumbled upon, they’re made! And the fastest way to make a fan is to share something personal with them, to invite them into your performance so that they have a personal memory of it. Something they can take credit for. An accomplishment of their own. That can be something as obvious and grand as pulling them up onto stage with you, or as subtle as simply making eye contact during the right line of the song, or a particularly silly action you make… a goofy, fun moment that tells them, “with you, I can just be my silly self” or “with you, I feel an extra emotional connection to this moment in the song”. Then, it’s not all about you.
Which leads me to my finale on this topic… IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! Get over yourself and have some fun. Everyone in the room didn’t come to critique you. They aren’t watching you like an eagle to see if you mess up!!! They’re watching you because they have their own issues and problems and they are hoping you can help them escape all of that for a while. They’re watching you because they WANT to like you. They want to have a story to tell about something fun and amazing that they saw, or did! So get off of the IT’S ALL ABOUT ME wagon and learn to be a part of a moment that is bigger than any insecurities or fears you might feel. Act confident!
Remember how lucky you are to do what you do! Remember who inspired you to become an entertainer and act like them! Immulate them. Honor them with your interpretation of who they were. Make your influences proud to have influenced you. Be worthy of their influence. Take the focus off of yourself and you’ll see a change in your persona:)
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