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Stage Fright affects virtually every magician at some point of their career. Many are affected the first time they set foot onstage. Others are affected the first time they perform in a large venue. And the tell-tale signs are all the same: Sweating, rapid pulse, dry mouth, trembling, and most likely a desire to go the the restroom!
Three simple tips will help overcome the fear of dread.
If at all possible, be at the venue well before time for you to perform. Go out into the lobby area or wherever the audience enters the venue and be friendly. Speak to as many of the audience members beforehand as you possibly can. Two things happen... You will recognize faces in the audience once you are onstage. They will recognize you and feel as if you are an acquaintance. The two of you have bonded somewhat, and they 'feel' for you, want you to succeed, and pull for you to do well. You have a slight sense of performing for friends and family, instead of total strangers.
Secondly, If you feel a sense of 'space', as if the room or audience has gotten too large, focus on one or two members of the audience. Look at them. Speak as if you're speaking directly to them. It's much easier to perform for two or three people than a room full of strangers. Shortly, you will be able to relax and speak to the audience as a whole.
And lastly, never get in a hurry. Take your time and TRY to enjoy yourself. Don't be afraid to stop completely, smile at your audience for a short time, and say.. " Thanks, I needed that...". They will laugh, and you will feel like a winner.
Break a leg...
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|