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NeilS
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When I started this thread I did not anticipate all these excellent and helpful responses.

This show I have is early next week and between now and then I will be frequently rereading the advice given and already feel myself moving away from a state of gitters and to one of excitement.

So much can be gained and learnt from moving out of the comfort zone - but to grow and develop, it is just so important.

Thanks again to all.

Neil
mindpunisher
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Just go out and have 30 shows this week and build up a bank of experience that should do the job.

Of course do it in your mind. relax and mentally rehearse your show exactly the wy you want it to go. Over and over. Build in a recovery strategy. See yourself make a huge mistake forget a line drop a prop whatever. Then see yourself recover from this with ease to continue triumphant.

Remeber times in the past when you were successful. Relilve those feelings then create an anchor by squeezing your fist at the hieght of those feelings. Relive in your mind a few other powerful events from your past each time adding to the anchor by squeezing your fist.

Once again rehearse you show in your mind and squeeze your wrist. Just before you go on squeeze your wrist and all that conditioning will kick into place.
bobser
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All good advice. With regard to Mindpunisher's post I'm reminded of and American Vietnam vet who had spent 15 years in captivity. To keep himself sane he played golf everyday (in his mind) on his favoutite golf course. When freedom came and he was asked to play in a celeb tournament on that same course he accepted the invitation. The story goes that the local press thought this not to be too good an idea, since he'd been caged for so many years and he might not be able to stand throughout the round. Anyway, on the first hole he had a 30 foot put for a birdie which he seemingly sank with ease. A voice from one of the reporters in the crowd shouted out "Man that was some shot", to which the vet replied "Not really, I haven't missed that shot in 15 years".
I guess it's harder to get nervous when you're doing something regularly, even if it's just in your mind.

bobser
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mindpunisher
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There is research that suggests injured athletes who train in in their minds while recovering from an injury have much less muscle wastage than those that don't.

Thoughts can and do affect the physical plane. Everything you see including the screen infront of you are the thoughts of others.

Thoughts become things its true. When you worry you think about failing. you rehearse failing. You are setting yourself up to fall. And if you don't change that you will become a succesful failure. So why not fail at failing and do the opposite in your mind every day.

you cannot fail only be successful at manifesting what you think about.

WE ARE SUCCESS MACHINES....
mindpunisher
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Also Bobser when you worry you do things in your mind as if the worst thing that could happen. You basically programme yourself to living up to that negative performance.

Its not only playing it in your mind regularly its playing it the way you want it to go.
Marc Spelmann
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Rehearse again and again, know every detail not just the effects like the back of your hand..
Realise that no one is going to die and enjoy the moment..

Nerves usually only last for a few minutes, I get a little nervy 5 minutes before a show but then once I have taken my place on stage I simply enjoy it..

Words and speech should be natural, no thinking, no stumbling.. Ultimately your audience want you to do well, who wants to see a bad show??

Show them they can relax and enjoy themselves..

Also make the first effect you do short, sharp and easy.. Once they know you are good and you have gotten past that first hurdle you'll relax..

We don't perform brain or open heart surgery, we entertain..

Enjoy it and if anything nerves are not a bad thing.. Check lists, stage prop lists and a small discrete running order all act as blankets which you can rely on when you feel a little nervy..

I hope it goes well..

MS
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Piers
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... and http://www.amazon.co.uk/Win-Crowd-Influe......5&sr=8-1 has some good advice.

Teachers get nerves... but start with a pause and a first line that's really easy to remember, like, 'hello'...

Piers.
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gabelson
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Quote:
On 2008-08-11 12:03, Marc Spelmann wrote:

Also make the first effect you do short, sharp and easy.. Once they know you are good and you have gotten past that first hurdle you'll relax..

MS


IMHO this is the most important and insightful nugget of advice here. Whether you are a comedian, magician, mentalist or singer... start quick and strong, and you'll have nothing to fear. And more importantly, neither will the AUDIENCE. Unless you're Kreskin, chances are you're an unknown commodity up there, so the most important thing you can show an crowd is why they have ponied up the $20 cover charge to see YOU- RIGHT AT THE TOP OF THE SHOW. Once you do, THEY relax and YOU relax. Hit them fast and hard. You want to get that first laugh, first applause break, QUICKLY.

Think of a top, veteran MLB pitcher in his first, crucial World Series game. Here's a guy who's been in the most pressure-packed of circumstances (during the regular season), and has been cool under fire. But now he's on a whole different stage, with the entire world watching. So he's nervous, despite being a 10 year vet. He walks the first two hitters... Then he strikes out the third. And his whole demeanor changes. The announcers talk about him "settling down". He goes on to hold the other team scorless for the next 7 innings, till he tires and gets relieved. Or perhaps even goes the distance. This happens all the time. To the best in their chosen fields.

Keep in mind, a large percentage of performers (if not most) are introverts, and actually CHOOSE performing (perhaps subconsciously) to get over their fear of interacting in everyday LIFE. Offstage, Robin Williams is one of the most shy people you'll ever meet. Once onstage, you can't turn him off.

As Marc said, everyone has a bit of nervous energy right before they hit the stage. But once you've gotten that first response, it melts away. So go out there and nail it. Quickly. Throw that first strike. Then you'll relax.
RicHeka
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Quote:
On 2008-08-10 14:35, Piers wrote:
What a fantastic thread.

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

Have a 'happy thought' you can call upon.

Piers.


I remember when I started performing in restaurants two decades ago,I was usually nervous when I would approach a table,and the guests sensed it.
One night an older gentleman leaned over and whispered in my ear the following:"you need to smile".That may be the best advice I was ever given.

A 'sincere' smile is magical in and of itself.As Piers said "it puts the guests at ease"[this stranger entering their space is actually a friend].A smile also helps display an air of confidence that this is going to be a worthwhile and fun experience.[Thank-you old man wherever you are]

Many excellent post's on this thread....including Marc and Gabe[Wonderful baseball analogy Gabe].

Rich
mindpunisher
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A few people have asked me privately about nerves and performing...

So I have for a limited time put up an offer for Café members.

Now you can improve your performance with little effort
Guranteed.

http://www.advancedmind.co.uk/cafeoffer.htm

This will not only help with stage fright it will help with your performance overall
DT3
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IMHO this is one of the best threads in the recent Café history.

Wow. I have learned so much from all of you. Thanks so much.

D
Michael Bilkis
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In addition: Alcohol free Valerian root extract helps nerves and Bach's rescue remedy. Both aer available in most health food stores.

Propranolol (Inderal) is a prescription beta blocker which slows the heart beat and prevents it fom racing. I've taken it prior to some public speaking events and it works.

This is for informational purposes only and not medical advice. PLease do your own research and consult your own physician.

Michael
mindpunisher
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You don't need drugs...

And rehearsal will not only help your nerves it will improve your performance and the energy you give off.

http://www.advancedmind.co.uk/cafeoffer.htm
Jerome Finley
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MP,

I took the plunge and ordered your products to help support your work and endeavors. Thank you for the offer and I will let others know if I find them useful. From someone so vocal, I just had to see your work for myself Smile I expect them to be REALLY good and look forward to the link soon.

Best,
Jerome
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NeilS
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I agree about staying off drugs.

When on holiday recently I met someone who shares a hobby of mine - growing sprouting seeds (mung beans, little radish etc.) and they advised me about the properties of wheat grass and what a good energy giver this is.

You can grow your own and then turn it into juice or buy it in tablet form or powder. I have bought some powder and which I mix with water but it can also be added to smoothies etc. It may not be the nicest tasting product but it certainly is an excellent and natural way of getting energy.
mindpunisher
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Quote:
On 2008-08-19 19:45, mindpunisher wrote:
You don't need drugs...

And rehearsal will not only help your nerves it will improve your performance and the energy you give off.

http://www.advancedmind.co.uk/cafeoffer.htm


Thanks Jerome

I created these and a series of mp3s for my clients. I haven't marketed them outwith the programmes I run. But my clients have reported good results.

I put them for those on this thread who may want an additional boost in their performance.
NeilS
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The reason I started this thread several weeks ago was because I had a show lined up and I knew in the audience would be some well known speakers and performers as well as possibly some from the media. It was a daunting proposition but I knew it was also a great opportunity.

On Tuesday I presented my show and surprised myself at how very quickly I got into my stride and particularly enjoyed my interaction with the audience. It was really well received and I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all who have given such wonderful suggestions and advice as well as messages of support.

Before my show I copied and printed out some of the affirmations and posts and read them through just before I performed. For anyone else in a similar position or has pre-show nerves, I recommend they do the same. There is some wonderful advice here so again, a very big thank you to all.

Neil
briandavidphillips
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Neil, that's great! This is a gem: "surprised myself at how very quickly I got into my stride and particularly enjoyed my interaction with the audience"

For others, I agree with a lot of the techniques presented here . . . proactive and engaging rather than reactive.

If I had responded in a timely manner (didn't see the thread until the red cup appeared today) . . . I would have suggested some of the same things:

1. Hypnosis, go to a competent hypnotist and have 'em run a solid process for you.

2. Self-Hypnosis, if a hypnotist isn't available then some affirmation work.

3. Reframe, don't think of it as performance anxiety but as performance anticipation. Think of your act as an opportunity to connect and communicate with people. Honestly most people are there to see you succeed so the only person who is unfairly judging you is yourself. Just stick with your competences and concentrate on communicating those.

4. Breathe Deeply, a few deep breaths before you go on will do wonders. Just stand in the wings and close your eyes and breathe three to five deep breaths and as you breathe out imagine all the stress and tension relaxing away while with each breath in you breathe in power and confidence and joyful excitement.

5. Anchoring, learn to anchor or have someone else run the process with you (it's an NLP term) and create an anchor or trigger for positive emotions that serve you well in a show "your stride" or "the zone."

All the best,
Brian
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Brian David Phillips brian@briandavidphillips.com
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bucky310
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I've found the best way to cure nerves is diaphragmatic breathing. Basically all you do is breathe in through your nose, and force the air down so that your stomach expands instead of your chest. What this does, is it gets you breathing in the same manner you did when you were first born (believe it or not, it is the way a child naturally breathes). Also, it is a very relaxing form of breathing for two reasons: 1) it gets you thinking about something else (forcing the air downwards instead of thinking about messing up an effect) and 2) it's a quite calming method of breathing if done properly and slowly. I forgot to mention that before, you must breathe slowly or it will have less effect on your nerves. I've used this method many times to calm myself down, and it works every time. Takes only about 5 minutes now, but when I started it took around 15. So you can use it as a pre-show warm-up sort of thing.
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Don't fret..people think magic is cool and exciting!
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