Stage fright is a very real and challenging issue that almost every comedian, comedy entertainer, or speaking professional faces at some point in their career.
This overwhelming and often debilitating condition can impact performers of all levels, with less than optimal effects on their emotional and physical states.
The realization that stage fright is having an adverse effect on their level of performance compounds the issue, leaving the performer feeling even more insecure and uncertain. Physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and nausea can also emerge, making the experience even more uncomfortable.
But, confidence can be a strong antidote to stage fright. Confidence in your stand-up comedy material, confidence in your performing ability, and confidence in yourself as an entertainer can help establish a connection with the audience and create a more memorable performance.
Stage comfort and confidence won’t give a person more talent, but it is the ultimate talent enhancement any performer can have. Developing stage comfort and confidence can help a performer deliver their material more effectively and bring their unique talents to the forefront.
So, how can performers conquer stage fright and develop stage comfort and confidence? The good news is that it is possible to get rid of stage fright and develop tremendous comfort and confidence for any audience. Preparation, visualization, and relaxation techniques are effective ways to address these issues.
Preparation involves ensuring you are well-versed in your material, have rehearsed it multiple times, and are comfortable with your delivery. Visualization is a mental technique where you imagine yourself performing with confidence and success, and relaxation techniques can help calm the nerves before a performance.
While stage fright is a common challenge faced by performers, it is possible to overcome it and develop confidence and comfort on stage.
It is commonly reported that by combining preparation, visualization, and relaxation techniques, performers can take control of their emotions and deliver their best performance yet. Easier said than done.
But as far as a solution goes, there’s really no need to discuss a solution unless you can understand that:
- It is YOU and the mental processes that you continually use to reinforce issues with stage fright and lack of confidence that are the root cause. By understanding the underlying mental processes, performers can identify and address the issues that contribute to their stage fright.
The last person anyone wants to look at as the cause of a problem is that person in the mirror.
- Unless you are aware of these mental processes and how they work together, your chances of overcoming stage fright and developing real confidence for the stage are greatly diminished. Self-awareness is key to overcoming stage fright and building confidence as a performer.
- Overcoming stage fright and developing confidence for the stage requires some work and effort. The good news is that it requires no more work or effort than you are expending now to maintain self doubt, anxiety, fear, and insecurity when you stand before an audience. By dedicating time and effort to address their stage fright, performers can experience a significant improvement in their comfort and confidence on stage.
While I’m no psychologist, I have studied how the mind works for years. It has taken me nearly half a century to thoroughly understand the mental processes involved that contribute to stage fright, lack of confidence, self-doubt and insecurity.
With the right approach and mindset, performers can overcome their stage fright and become more confident and effective entertainers.
But when I try to explain how the mind’s “database” called the subconscious mind is the root of stage fright and discomfort, many folks roll their eyes in the back of their head and say “Yeah, whatever”.
No biggy. For those folks, I can only wish you the best in your suffering and truly hope you find a solution for yourself along the way — sooner rather than later.
For everyone else, here’s some basic information about how your subconscious mind works and how it provides the foundation for stage fright and uncertainty:
1. As I mentioned before, your subconscious mind is like a computer “database” or “library” of information. Not only does it store information, but it also stores your associated emotional reactions to the information stored there.
For example, folks who experience stage fright have fear, self doubt, and insecurity associated with performing for an audience firmly entrenched in their subconscious mind.
2. Information that is stored in your subconscious mind is established and reinforced by:
a. What you consciously visualize when you see yourself performing—whether you are at the performing venue or away from the venue.
b. The internal dialogue that you have with yourself when discussing your performances.
c. The external dialogue (speaking out verbally) that you have with yourself or with others about your performances and issues with stage fright.
3. As hard as it may be for some to swallow, folks who are grappling with stage fright and lack of confidence are responsible THEMSELVES for keeping their fears and doubts alive and well—whether they choose to realize it or not.
How? See #2 above. Ironically enough, people WORK on having stage fright, doubt, and a sense of impending failure firmly embedded on a subconscious level.
Your subconscious mind is not involved with critical thinking. It doesn’t make determinations on what is good or bad, right or wrong, or make decisions.
But your subconscious mind DOES influence your conscious thinking because it is your internal “library” or database of information and associated emotions that you have stored there. It can affect what you visualize, your internal dialogue and your external dialogue with yourself and others.
The same is true in reverse—what you visualize, the internal and external dialogue that you have on a consistent basis can have a direct affect the information and associated responses and emotions with that information stored in your subconscious mind.
The method I used to overcome stage fright in 30 days is provided in the Killer Stand-up Online Course. It basically involved listening to carefully crafted statements that I recorded and listened to going to and from work.
While the method I used was not an “instant” solution, it required minimal effort and eliminated the severe stage fright I had for good.
Just keep this in mind as you move forward — you are the entertainment asset you must hone and develop in order to deliver that act that causes audiences to howl with laughter. That simply won’t happen if you are riddled with stage fright.