On Stage & in the Boardroom
If you have ever stood on stage you know it can be pretty scary. In fact it can be downright terrifying. The same could be said for giving a presentation at work or going to a job interview. You can be teleported back to your four year old self at the school nativity play when you peed yourself centre stage in front of your whole school, because we all did that didn’t we? Didn’t you? Oh … Well moving on, as we were saying it’s nasty stuff. Guitarist Louis Crowe is used to performing in front of audiences both at intimate, and in front of a large crowd at a festival, so he has shared some of his own tips and tricks for overcoming stage fright…
Some people are lucky enough not to get nervous. Others need the nervous energy to help give them the edge. What I have always found in common with performers is that their passion for performing always outweighs their stage fright. Relating back to the offi ce, your determination to impress your colleagues, win that contract or get that job will win out if you can channel your focus. My advice on tackling these nerves is simple and can work for anyone who suffers from the dreaded stage fright both on stage and in the office…
Being Nervous is Natural…
The most important thing to remember is that feeling nervous in these situations is a natural thing. I’ve had friends that always puke before gigs and others that drink whiskey; I suppose we all have our own ways of dealing with nerves. Myself, well I’m one of the lucky ones I guess. Quite often I’m just too busy to think about it. However, the worst gigs for nerves I’ve had are always the small ones with a couple of people sat right in front of you. There is just no avoiding them! Festivals are the easiest for me; there are so many people that you don’t feel it’s as personal.
Rehearse Your Ass Off!
Whether it be a performance on stage, a presentation, or an interview, make sure you are rehearsed, polished and ready for an audience. There is nothing worse than being half way through performing when you realise you can’t remember what you’re supposed to do next – it’s not cool.
Try sitting in a quiet relaxed place before your due to go on stage or walk in to the meeting room. Meditation may sound like some hippy crap to some but breath-ing slowly and harnessing your focus in a quiet environment might just be the thing you need to tackle your nerves. A lot of people use booze to help them with their stage fright. While this may work for them, it’s actually increasing the risk of making mistakes and raising your blood pressure and heart rate so prob-ably not a great idea when trying to over-come nerves. I knew a guy who would get absolutely trashed before going on stage and still did a great job. I on the other hand would completely f*@k it up!
Find Your Own Way…
I guess in essence what I’m trying to say is there is no right or wrong way to over-come your own stage fright. Chances Do you believe that your audiences expect more multi skilled performers on stage?
We asked on Facebook:
“What rituals do you have to calm your nerves before a performance?”
Here are some of the answers…
“I do warm-up exercises, run lines in my head and do focus/breathing exercises. And embrace the nerves as adrenalin. Without nerves you have no edge!” Miss Von Trapp
“Watch the other acts. If they’re bad, you’ve got something to outdo and save the show, if they’re good; you’ve got something to compete against.” Nevs Coleman
“I used to get so nervous I was nearly sick. On those occasions press ups would do the trick!” Luke Sargeant (Ribbon)
“I can’t seem to tackle my stage nerves, even though I’ve been performing for over 3yrs now, so I just live with it. I will always have zero confi dence and get really nervous about going on stage – but I just put two fi ngers up to my demons and just launch myself out there!” Miss Anticipation
“Vocal warm-ups in the form of humming in different pitches as loud as I can along to whatever other noise is happening in the venue, has the added effect of chilling you out via focused breathing” Ben Harker
“Dressing room mirror self psych up speech. Followed by vocal exercises and tongue twisters. Relaxed, ambient music, being confident with what I’m going to do on stage and just getting out there, no questions asked.” Mike Hallett
Feature by Louis Crowe