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Stage Fright...

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Old 05-13-2008, 02:30 AM   #1
Jig, Don't Jog
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Red face Stage Fright...

Heyo Everyone

Whether you dance, make speeches, or anything else, I would love some help!

So I used to have terrible stage fright when I was in Musical Theatre from 3rd-10th grade, and for some reason I kept getting "major" roles. (of course forgetting my lines...) I still have nightmares about being in "Annie" and everyone else remembers their lines from 10 years ago but me... Ugh!

Anyhoo-- When I rejoined ID when I was 15, I was super confident because I was one of the only people who knew the dances (for the most part) in the Beginner class. I was a total ham, and loved it!

Then we started to get opprotunities to go to competitions and perform, and I panicked again, and decided I didn't want to participate (I always regretted this).

About 2-3 years ago I started working at Gymboree Play & Music where I led Parent/Child play classes-- I had to memorize lesson plans, songs, and perform all of it with the best of attitude! and I LOVED it! I got little panic attacks every once in a while, but I was able to control it, so it wasn't a huge deal...

I haven't worked there for a year, and there seems to be no way I can get myself hired back

I've been just fine until the end of March, where we did a recital performance (with all of our choreography from St. Pat's, so it shouldn't have been a big deal), and I just panicked... I was shaking, dry mouth, heart fluttering like mad.... I still went out there and did the choreography, but EVERYONE in the group noticed that something was off with me (which inevitably meant that the audience noticed something..).

Now, even just showing a step in class is panicking me... And I'm getting really tired of it But I can't seem to figure out a way to stop it!

I'm in a group that performs TONS, and I'm thinking of going back to competitions soonish, so this isn't a "habit" that is going to help my goals for next year!

Any thoughts?

Getting My Dancer's Body Back One Jig at a Time!

Goal: 185.2/165/135

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Old 05-13-2008, 08:17 AM   #2
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For me when I sang I would look somewhere that no one was sitting (a wall, post etc) and smile. If there's spotlights, they'll help because the stage is bright and the audience area is dark.

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Old 05-13-2008, 08:44 AM   #3
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I was a music performance major and gigged to support myself and I had TERRIBLE stage fright. For me, losing weight helped a lot. I don't think it was confidence, but my core strength and breathing and health was better. I performed better when I worked out that day- it helped me maintain control of my body as my mouth, hands, and legs would shake terribly. This is the stuff that helped me:

-meditation, breathing exercises
-soaking my hands in warm water (I was a flutist so this may not help you)
-bananas- they are natural beta blockers
-working out the afternoon of a performance

And if all else fails, "2 table spoons of Wild Turkey" as my grandmother would tell me

2011- putting on the baby weight
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:48 AM   #4
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I focus on how I want it to all work out. How I'll speak, how I'll be presenting, how people will react. I meditate about it for a few. And I keep it positive.
~Made of star stuff~
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:23 AM   #5
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Well I play the piano and violin and at one time I did fairly regular competitions and concerts. I had (have) and over abundance of self confidence, so I never did get too panicky, but I do have a couple of suggestions. First, don't practice (I'm not sure how this applies to dance, I guess you have to warm up? I guess don't try your actual routine) immediately before your performance, that would always stress me out. Another thing that helped me was imaginging what the worst possible result would be if I completely flubbed. If you think about it, the worst thing is basically that a couple of people will laugh if you totally mess up (and anyone who laughs at another misfortune isn't worth a moments anxiety anyways). Most likely a good portion of the audience won't even notice if you just make a minor mistake. Actually walking on to the stage was always the worst moment for me, so I always count my steps as I walk. I'm not sure why this helps, but I find myself doing it whenever I feel nervous.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:36 PM   #6
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I used to be a corporate trainer and still speak in public. When I feel nervous about getting up and speaking, my trick is to envision "playing a role" - (ie Step outside of my "nervous self" and step into "the confident public speaking self".)

As I speak and become more comfortable... the nervousness and "role playing" seem to melt away and my personality and comfort appears.
"If it was easy... Everyone would do it"

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Old 05-13-2008, 04:42 PM   #7
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I try to look at someone that I know and would feel comfortable having a conversation with. If I didn't know anyone, I would probably do as someone else suggested and look at the wall. I have had this problem for the last few years, and never felt like this in the past. I think after the first time it happened - my heart beat wildly, throat went dry and my voice squeaked - that the anxiety that it would happen again made it all the worse. It's like a self fulfilling prophecy. I try to force myself to do it and if all goes OK it's positive reinforcement that I'll do OK next time.

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