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Dear Dish-It: I Have Stage Fright!

Dear Dish-It,

My friends say I have what it takes to be a celebrity: I'm good at singing, acting, and I'm hilarious. The only problem is that I have a terrible case of stage fright; I can't even go in front of a camera without hiding my face! What do I do?

FrightenedSinger

Dear FrightenedSinger,

How to get over stage fright is one of the most commonly asked questions among young actors today. Did you know that the fear of public speaking and performing in front of a group of people actually rates higher than the fear of dying? Wow! So...what to do? You definitely have to believe in yourself. But since that can be easier said than done, here are some more tips on overcoming stage fright.

Practice & Prep

What's really important is that you are as well prepared to perform as you possibly can be. Practice and make sure you know your stuff! Practice. Practice. Practice. That alone will help you to feel more confident.

Acting Classes

Taking a professional acting class will help you feel more comfortable in front of people while performing. Something else that is crucial for how to get over stage fright is that you need to focus on what you want and not on what you don't want. You need to focus your mind on what being focused and comfortable in your scene will be like and not on the things you are afraid will happen if you mess up. Why? What will that do for you? Let me give you an example.

Don't Think About...

If I tell you right now, "Don't think about a pink elephant! Don't think about it!" What's the first thing that comes into your mind? You don't have to tell me, because I already know. It's the pink elephant isn't it? Why is that? Because that's how the human brain works. That's how your brain works. In order to forget something, our brain first has to understand what it is supposed to forget. How does it do that? By bringing it to the forefront and creating an image around it. So what does that have to do with your feeling comfortable while on stage? Everything!

Stay Positive!

If you are serious about wanting to know how to get over stage fright and at the same time you tell yourself before you go into the audition or during any performance itself things like; "I hope I don't mess up, I hope I don't get nervous. I hope I don't forget anything. I hope I don't freeze in front of the group," you are putting yourself in a position to think about what you don't want. Your imagination will go there and recreate that image of all those negative things you keep telling yourself. Your focus is on the wrong things! You said you wanted to know how to get over stage fright, so now you know what you have to do? What kinds of things will you tell yourself the next time you go into a performance or an audition? Positive things! Good things! You will give a great performance! You will be very comfortable in front of your audience! See yourself doing that. If you have to, close your eyes, BREATHE deeply before you go in and visualize yourself being great. How confident will you be while you are performing? You know your lines. You know what you have to do. You are in the character. You feel it! You can see that you feel what you are acting! You are confident and you will be amazing!

When you talk like that to yourself, you will feel your attitude change. So BE confident and FEEL confident and you will BE the best that you can be. So now you know a little about how to get over stage fright! Good luck.

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