Performance nerves

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by deezy, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. What do you guys do to help calm your nerves before a performance? I'm usually nervous at the beginning of a performance and then I become more comfortable after a while. What can I do?
  2. Two ideas:

    1. Start off your performances by interacting with your audience. Ask them questions. Listen to their answers. By interacting with the audience you will get positive feedback (them answering your questions) and that will reduce your nerves.

    2. Rehearse (which means the moves, the actions, the patter, the whole performance) until it is automatic. So you can perform on autopilot.

    and then of course there is the one that works best -- keep performing until you no longer become nervous at the beginning.
  3. I always feel a little anxious right before a gig. That feeling will diminish in time, but I'm not sure if it ever goes away for good. It's a love/hate relationship with me. I hate feeling nervous about performing a gig, but I'd hate it even more if I didn't feel it because that would mean I'm doing something wrong and I'm not challenging myself.

    Let me put it to you like this, I love to hate feeling nervous.

    Right before I begin to perform, it goes away.
  4. Meditate

    I try to just breathe slowly and say to myself how great of a show it will be. I have been performing for a long time but i still get a little shaky before performances. Just breathe and get ready and go. That's the best advice i could give.

  5. Nervous feelings are good because they mean that "you care" if you mess up and want to put on a great performance. I do not get nervous any more performing close up because I have done it over and over and over again as Reality One mentions.

    I however have not performed very many stage shows and I am a nervous wreck prior to those and sometimes get an upset stomach and many trips to the bathroom. Ha Ha. I normally don't eat prior to a performance either.

    With enough performances under your belt you will eventually get the nerves to turn into more of an adrenaline rush and you'll be chomping at the bit to get out there and show'em your stuff.

    When I first started performing years ago I had uncontrollable shaky hands that was utterly embarrassing. Now my hands do not shake at all and I was scared to death it would never go away.
  6. Yeah man I still get a little nervous from time to time too. I think if you aren't a little nervous then something is wrong. Check for a pulse.

    Take a deep breath and just run through your lines and lineup 5 minutes before you go on. Just be in your own space with minimal interruptions. As R1 pointed out rehursal also helps.
  7. I like to go out and meet the crowd a little bit a head of the show (if it is a stage show) and talk to some of the people and even show them a quick close up effect or something to calm myself.

    I noticed that Jeff McBride did that this past weekend. He came out into the crowd and blew some bubbles and talked to us about 15 minutes prior to the stage show beginning.

    I'm also OCD on checking and rechecking my props minutes before the show...ha ha. I keep a little bottle of water up there with me if my lips and throat are dry and just casually will take a quick drink after and effect.
  8. Oh my God! Now that you mention it, when I first began to perform I had uncontrollable shaky knees. So embarrassing! It was like a twitch or something that I had no control over.
  9. Thanks for all the advice. I performed in front of my class today. My pulse was a little higher than normal and I was kinda nervous even though I practiced a lot. It ended up being a good performance though.
  10. Cool man! What did you do?
  11. Roberto Giobbi had some good advice about this subject in his "Ask Roberto" download from the lybrary. I think one of the things he mentions that you could do is that you draw and imaginary circle in front of you, and take ALL of your best moments and put them in there. Then before each performance you simply step inside the circle and just "take in" all of the best moments and experiences.

    I may have totally butchered what he really said, but you get the general idea.

    Another thing that may or may not work is one thing I remember Maurice Lamarche mention about when he would audition for roles. He would simply go into the audition with the attitude of not giving a crap. (If you don't know who this is. I'll give you a hint. Pinky and The Brain, Futurama, The Simpsons, Animaniacs, and a ton of other popular cartoons.)
  12. Daniel Madison's Angle Zero. The torn-off piece ended up in some poor kids wallet, the class loved it!
  13. Nice! Cool stuff man. I remember doing a card through window effect when I was in high school. I had everybody in class flipping out, except for my accomplice that is...
  14. Sorry I'm late to this (life is insane now - but I have a moment to post!)

    There's tons of amazing advice here, but I would add three things that help me:
    1. Before I get to a show, I do some vocal excercises to warm up my voice. This helps relax my face and makes me a bit mroe confident.
    2. Before performing, I take some deep breaths (and hold for a bit). This helps get more oxygen flowing in your body and will help you feel more relaxed and energized.
    3. I always start with something I know very well. This way my actions are memorized and I can proceeed with confidence. Then when I move onto a newer routine, I am past the nerves.

    Hope that is of some help!

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