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NeilS
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I am sure this is something many of us have had to face - and surmount.

I have a really big show coming up and while I will be performing pieces I have presented many times, the enormity of the occasion makes it a little daunting. Which leads me to ask, what is the best way and advice to cure nerves?

I am sure many would be interested ...

Thanks, as always,

Neil
Mental_Mike
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GET HAMMERED!!!

Just kidding...

Don't take my word for it but you can take pills for stage fright. They are called Beta Blockers. Find out everything about them and ask a doctor if you go for it. I've never tried it but heard of people taking them for their nerves before performing. Maybe someone else can chime in and let you know if that's a good idea...

Mike
E.C. Valdemar
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Self-Hypnosis.
No lie. Usually I do walk around and street magic -- but I was hired to do a stage show a few months back. I hadn't performed for a while and was starting to have major worries. I bought an awesome hypnosis download from http://www.hypnosisdownloads.com on stage fright and it worked wonders. Now just so you know I really got into it. I was listening to it twice a day (once in the morning and once at night) AND also left it playing all night in my headphone while I slept. I'd say in about 2 weeks I was looking forward to do that stage show.
No lie. I don't work for them for anything like that. It's just my success story. LOL
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Tony Iacoviello
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Pick out 4 or 5 people from the audience (in your mind) in different areas of the venue, and play the show to them.

Some people say to imagine them naked, but being surrounded by 500 naked people would freak me out! Smile
yachanin
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Hi Neil,

Tony's idea is a good one to help with your nerves during the show. For pre-show jitters, I would try meditation to help you relax; simple, easy to do, and effective. I, personally, would stay away from medications (especially if you've never used them before) since you would have no idea how you might react to them or how you would perform while under their influence.

Good luck with your show.

Regards, Steve
Markymark
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Tell yourself that what you are feeing is the ''thrill of your career'' instead of
thinking that you are feeling nervous. Just re-label the feeling as normal excitement.
''In memory of a once fluid man,crammed and distorted by the classical mess'' -Bruce Lee
Gerry Hennessey
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Quote:
On 2008-08-10 11:57, Markymark wrote:
Tell yourself that what you are feeing is the ''thrill of your career'' instead of
thinking that you are feeling nervous. Just re-label the feeling as normal excitement.


Absolutely. Re-labeling is a great technique.

You might also try repeating to yourself before show time,
"What a terrific opportunity to perform for such great people. We're going to have a marvelous time together".

Best

Gerry
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NeilS
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Thanks to you all - that is making me feel much more positive and enthusiastic. In the book 'Feel the Fear - and do it anyway,' there is a useful suggestion about viewing a major event in a state of 'sweet anticipation' but I particularly like 'the thrill of my career' - which it could be and Gerry's excellent affirmation. I know these will be helpful. I will also follow Tony's advice about picking out a few of the audience in my mind and performing just to them.

I think though I may steer away from thinking of the audience as naked. I'd forget what I had to do! Smile
Floyd Collins
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NeilS

First off know that you’re not alone many people do not handle large crowd interaction well. Some performers get nerves before some get it during the show some break down at the end of a show.
The main fear is acceptance of who you are and what you are doing. I always recommend meditation for those who fear large audiences, before you go on deep breaths in from your noise and slowly let them out your mouth.
Once on stage find your horizon make a line in your mind about half way up the audience and remember that is going to be your focus point if you get the jitters.
Some other pointers I give out are.
Keep your head on a pivot don’t just stand in one place work all sides of the room and make as much eye contact as you can.
I open with a few jokes and try and get to know the crowd. I also think in my mind that they are no different than any other person I have showed this stuff too and surly they will like it just as much. Confidence will carry you in many situations.
Slow yourself and you’re speaking down. Everything will be racing you will be one ahead of everyone in the room in your mind. Keep yourself from trying to speed up and catch up with your mouth is a must. Keeping your blood pressure under control takes making sure your whole body is in sync, so remember to slow yourself and your mouth down a notch or two.
And above all ells rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal. If you can get to the venue ahead of time even a day before Rehears your show if not there then find someplace to do it over and over. The more confident you are the less likely you will be to get the jitters during your show.
Above all this you’re not alone, I don’t get jitters anymore but from time to time I have to take my own advice especially when things don’t go just as I planned.
Let us know how your show goes.
PS> I am PMing you with something that I think will help.

-Floyd
No one said it would be easy, or did they?

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Steve Suss
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I've been battling stage fright for over 40 years but I've learned to control it and hide it pretty well.

Before a show I will always do some deep breathing. I also try to get to a show earlier and get to know some of the members of the audience. This gives me the confidence that they don't bite. I also try to memorise as many names as possible and will use them during my show. I've been using Harry Lorayne's memory systems for years and can tell you one of the greatest things you can do is call people by their first names during a show. I will usually start out with an opening monologue that is funny and relates to the guests at the show. I do as much name calling as possible. This gives me an immediate connection with my audience and they become my friends rather than my victims.

Finally, I just go out there to have fun. I call upon my past experiences and remember how much fun my audiences and I had. After my opening remarks my nervousness has turned into enthusiasm and energy which hopefully is transferred to my audience. I've gained confidence that the audience and I are going to have a great time and I love that feeling. It is this feeling that makes me so excited to perform again despite the preshow jitters which I always seem to get.

Neils, good luck with your show. I'm sure you'll do great!

Steve
DT3
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Neil,

It has been proven that the endorphins/neurotransmitters that are accessesed thru stage fright are the same for excitement.

Instead of being nervous, just shift it to excitement. I have a project in the works right now where this topic is covered by the people in the know.

PM me your email addy and I will send it to you on completion.

DT3

PS almost all the above hints are awesome and I have learned much from them. Thank you

A very brave and worthy post.
Piers
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What a fantastic thread.

Smiling helps. Sounds easy but it puts everyone at ease.

Have a 'happy thought' you can call upon.

Piers.
Smile



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chmara
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Stage fright is normal! Just enjoy it -- so few people in life get the rush of it. Do not worry about "being wrong" YOU are the teacher, the one in control.

It does not diminish -- but repeating performances and appearances allow it to become a positive force for good. There are many biological explanations for it -- particularly as part of fight or flight theories. Amateurs use the flight portion -- pros use the adrenaline to fight using all their professional tools of deception and entertainment.
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Mauricio Jaramillo
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The best kind of pre-show is to learn several good breathing exercises to relax you. With more and more shows under your belt, you'll feel much more confident, I know I do. It goes without saying, but really rehearse you act thoroughly, think about every single stupid thing that could happen, and be prepared for it, that way, your main worry is just having fun with everyone else. I used to get really nervous before performing, but now I'm always pumped about about my next show. Really learn to love what you do, and your confidence and love for the art will show.
Mindset
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This is a topic I can definitely relate to. After more than 20 years as a professional trainer, I still have those butterflies every time I get up to do a major presentation. The trick, as Cavette Roberts once said, is "not to eliminate the butterflies in your stomach...but to get them to fly in formation!"

A trusted source helped me realize that it is most severe when I am thinking more about my needs and how I am perceived, than when I am genuinely focusing on the needs of my audience. So I have to take time to remind myself whose needs are really most important. I find it also helps to speak to the audience as if speaking to a single person, not a collection of individuals who are critiquing my presentation.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent an entire day being trained by an executive presentation coach who had me do five impromptu presentations while being videotaped. Talk about a learning experience! Bottom line...have a process, be prepared, be relevant, be the part....and you'll be great!
Drewmcadam
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Don Theo - what you wrote about excitement and anxiety being one and the same, only depending on how they are percvieved is what saved ME! I would feel physically sick and go through the whole "The hell with it, I'm going home" situation. Now I'm doing regular Tv and Radio along with the normal gigs and I feel intense but not scared. It only took a couple fo gigs where I had to remeind myself that what I was actually feeling was excitement - like a kid on Chjristmas Eve - before the whole thing turned around. Very powerful!

Drew
drmagic
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I've found this book to be extremely helpful - http://www.amazon.com/Francis-Effect-Rea......75557874 Hope you it helps you too.
John C
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I honeslty think you can buy all the books you want but they are not going to help. There's nothing like experience. 1) Have a good show and 2) KNOW what you are going to say. The second beats the first.

J
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Slim King
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Quote:
On 2008-08-10 19:06, Drewmcadam wrote:
Don Theo - what you wrote about excitement and anxiety being one and the same, only depending on how they are percvieved is what saved ME! I would feel physically sick and go through the whole "The hell with it, I'm going home" situation. Now I'm doing regular Tv and Radio along with the normal gigs and I feel intense but not scared. It only took a couple fo gigs where I had to remeind myself that what I was actually feeling was excitement - like a kid on Chjristmas Eve - before the whole thing turned around. Very powerful!

Drew


So true!!!!!
This nervousness is a DRIVING FORCE to take you over the top. It puts you in a higher level of performance. This energy is PRICELESS! It must be used to feed your sense of SECURITY and CALMNESS ... Just RELAX. You've done it all before in many different ways. Just do it again! Smile
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psychicturtle
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A lot of good advice here, but I feel I should add that to reduce your nerves, do pre-show greetings. Go around the audience as they are coming in, perform some close-up maybe, shake hands with them, get to know some names. Some of the top performers do this. I learnt it from them, and it works.

Also, with time and more performance your nerves will diminish to a very mild anxiety about providing a good show, no worries about the pieces. I used to get anxious doing close up, but after about 200 shows I just don't have any nerves at all. Just a concern about giving what they pay for.

Another thing, prepare early, then keep asking yourself what you have to do for the next hour. As most of the time it will NOT be to do a show, you can allow yourself to not worry about it until the time comes. This is easier the more you try it, and it really makes a huge difference. I now find that when the time comes to perform I am into it and running before I get a chance to become properly nervous.
Takes practice, but is so worth it.
I still get nervous with stage performance, not as much though.
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