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  • Diana Drew

Overcoming Stage Fright!!!

Statistics state that one of the biggest fears (more than the fear of death!) is the fear of speaking in front of an audience. Let's take that a step further. Many people fear singing in front of an audience as well. 

You can feel that feeling of tightness that gets you right in your throat so you can't perform at your best, or for some people: they can't even perform at all. 

Then there are the butterflies in the stomach, the death grip of the hand on the microphone, the shaky voice and the frozen stiff body, to name a few of the unwelcome sensations that people endure during their time on stage. 

The biggest fear that I have noticed that comes up time and time again is the fear of 'making a fool of oneself'. 

People tell themselves all kinds of negative comments silently in their minds that cause them to fear singing on stage. The job of a good singing teacher is to find out exactly what those negative, silent comments/lies are, remove them and then proceed to replace them one by one with more positive, empowering comments that can free the singer of the 'fear death grip'.

A singing teacher, that really understands stage fright and how it works, will take a singing student through exercises that bring out the fears so that the singer can release the fears once by one and be free of them. This takes experience and sensitivity. Each individual is different and has a different assortment of fears depending on their childhood experiences when it comes to performing on stage. 

People are generally frightened of "all the eyes". And they are frightened that people will judge them. The truth is people will judge the singer. But, whatever their judgment is, the fact remains people who judge generally project onto the singer their own issues or weaknesses. 

Someone who views the world like it's a 'bowl of cherries' is probably not going to be critical and love most singers. Someone who views the world as "I'll get them before they get me" will probably be negative, critical and may even be rude. It has very little to do with the singer and so much to do with who the audience member is. 

Once the singer begins to separate the need for the audience to love them, they are free to be themselves. This, of course, sounds easier than it is and a trained professional is needed to guide the singer on their journey to freedom of their performance fears. 

The fact is that every singer (and I mean every singer) has people that love them, people that hate them and people that don't care about music. Perhaps they love sports.

Once a singer realizes this, they stop trying to get the audience to like them and stop trying to control the audience's reactions and feelings. This is a great freedom. 

I would love to say that one exercise can do the trick, but actually it is a combination of exercises, inner thought changes, patience and perseverance that causes the greatest life long success in the end!

It's worth the journey though because not only will singers not have stage fright when singing in front of an audience; they will be able to present in a business meeting, make a public speech and perform in front of any audience in life (from an audience of one to and audience of thousands) with calm and expertise. That's quite an accomplishment! 

Taking singing lessons with someone who understands stage fright can really make a difference for lifelong performance success! 


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