We all have suffered from stage fright at one point in our lives. Your mouth goes horribly dry and you start sweating in places where you didn’t know sweat glands even existed! On top of that, your stomach feels like it’s doing numerous summersaults. It is a situation that we have all been in and as magicians are often up on stage, it is all-too-common within the industry.
If it makes you feel any better, we’re all in it together and a study back in 2012 showed that public speaking is the number one fear. The survey asked 815 college students what their biggest fear was, they were given a list of common fears including deep waters, heights, money issues, fly and speaking in public. And even though the majority of those choices could end it life threatening situations, the majority of people still stated that public speaking was their biggest fear.
You’re in good company however as stage fright can even have an impact on the most professional, seasoned public speakers and performers. Barbra Streisand famously dreads getting on stage after she completely blanked and forget the lyrics to three of her songs in front of over 100,000 people, which resulted in her not getting back on stage for 27 years. In an interview for British Vogue, Adele said that it isn’t unusual for her to puke a number of times before she goes on stage.
So it is clear that stage fright is a huge problem for the majority of us, so we thought we would put a little list of tips together to try and prevent it.
Our Top Tips to Avoid Stage Fright
If you’re looking to perform in front of a group of people, self-doubt can often be a killer. Those pesky thoughts about how you’re really going to mess it up and how you’re not good enough have to go if you want your act/performance to run smoothly then you have to eliminate those thoughts. The best advice that we can give is to take your time, breathe slowly and remind yourself that you’ll be fine!
After you have managed to get rid of those pesky thoughts, try replacing them with nurturing advice, the kind of advice you would give to others if they were in your shoes.
Being prepared is probably the most important part. If you go into something without being prepared then it’s probably not going to go how you want it to. Therefore make sure that you spend time practicing what you are going to do if you’re fully prepared then the nerves on the actual day of performance shouldn’t be so bad. If you’re fully prepared and have put in the practice, it means that ‘the big night’ simply becomes about delivering the goods, if you turn up and do the best you can then it’s going to go well.
Polish Your Act
The start and finish of your show are the most important, therefore when you’re practising your act you have to make sure that the start of your act is going to engage the audience, make sure that you capture their attention early on. This way they will be prepared for the rest of the show. The audience won’t take very long to start formulating opinions of you and your act, therefore the start has to be strong. We would suggest spending 75% of your preparation time on the opening and closing of your act, this way you will leave the right impression at the end of the night. Focus on trying to leave the audience with something that they will always remember, this is one reason why the ending of your act needs to be so strong. Focus on making a clear and likeable impression then a succinct wrap-up as your closer. If you’re able to get your start and finish right, you’re more than halfway there.
Not Then, Now
Sometimes it is far too easy to be drawn into thinking about what’s going to happen next. Fully engage in the moment you are in without thinking about the past or the future. If you find yourself worrying and thinking about what has or what might happen it could disrupt your rhythm, the most important time in the show is always now, not then.
When you’re on stage is no time to be thinking about your reputation, reviews, promotion or even a tournament win. Just try your best in the moment and if it doesn’t pay off, learn from your mistakes and come back better and stronger the next time.
The Stage is Yours
A technique that is often used by famous performers is one which involves being in the shoes of the audience. A lot of performers will arrive at the venue with plenty of time to spare. This allows them to go around sitting in as many seats in the auditorium, classroom or theatre. They will then try and imagine watching themselves on stage, once you have done this the room starts to belong to you and you feel much more in control, making you feel much more confident.
If you’re looking to hire a wedding magician in London then why not get in touch with Oliver B. Oliver has performed at a number of weddings all around England. Oliver provides great entertainment for your guests that they are certainly not going to forget!