Is Stage Fright a good or bad thing?
Being nervous backstage before a performance of any kind isn’t unusual. A lot of people face some sort of anxiety whether they are ‘seasoned pro’s’ or relatively new to the performance game. Stage Fright as it’s casually referred to, can be caused by many different things – maybe something that happened in rehearsal that haunts you in case it happens on stage during a performance, pressure to deliver a particular character or routine or just hoping you memory is up to remembering everything and concentrating for 2 and a half hours. I certainly have had dreams about forgetting lines and dance numbers on many occasions. And since once losing my voice during a run and opening my mouth to barely or little sound coming out – that is also now a recurring worry.
Stage Fright can be obvious in some performers backstage: rapid breathing, trembling, sweaty hands or it can be much more subtle – a dry mouth, a racing pulse or the need for solitude. Some performers have rituals which they must complete before stepping on stage. I knew a gentlemen, who did three tours backstage checking every prop and costume he used before the show and repeating everything three times like a mantra. Some wear lucky underwear and some have to eat or drink certain foods.
Having stage fright isn’t necessary a bad thing as it can help the adrenalin needed to perform and doesn’t mean you are a bad actor or dancer but it can put added stress onto individuals and if takes some of the pleasure out of being in a show then that’s a shame.
I strongly believe that everyone should feel a little nervous before a performance because that drives the energy needed and certainly the adrenalin buzz is a natural high all its own. However, if you are rooted to the spot with fear, nauseous or overly anxious before a show then perhaps either consider taking some natural herbal remedies or seek some help from a professional or counsellor. Performing is a joy all its own and the pleasure of hearing an audience applaud or laugh is usually worth any minor worries before the show.
How does Stage Fright affect you?