I don't know why, but stage fright has never been a big issue for me. I can remember my mother waking me up late at night, when I was only 3 years old, just to sing and dance for her friends. I realized at an early age that I was an attention hog. I eventually discovered Elvis Presley.
So by the time I was 7, I had my Elvis act down pat for anyone who was willing to watch and listen.
As time went on I discovered that stage fright was a bigger issue than I had thought. Now I'm not special. I've definitely had my share of the jitters.
There have been times that I felt that my voice wasn't on; that's when the head games kicked in. I'd start to ask myself, What in the world am I doing? I shouldn't even be here performing.
Stage fright can definitely botch an audition. You've got to take control of the situation, so that it doesn't control you. I know it's easier said than done; the mind is a powerful thing, and once you get a bad idea brewing in your head, it's hard to let it go. Through my own experience and by the request of others, I developed a simple 3-part system for dealing with stage fright. If you are developing fear or nervousness before performing, follow these three simple rules and you'l do fine: Breathe, Vocalize, Visualize:
First re-establish your breathing. When the nerves kick in your breathing speeds up. Deep breathing calms the nerves and relaxes the body. By taking several deep breaths, you'll slow the heart rate back to normal, and you'll be able to focus on your performance. Try taking in 10 deep breaths, slowly. Inhale through the nose, and exhale through your mouth.
When you feel you have re-established your breathing, try warming up your voice by vocalizing on a few scales or performing some lip bubbles. This helps to enhance the blood flow to the vocal cords. Nervousness tends to produce a shaky tone in your voice. By warming up the voice, you'll help to eliminate the waiver.
Finally, visualize a perfect performance. Visualization is a powerful tool for creating positive consequences. Close your eyes and visualize yourself performing better than you ever have. Visualize the crowd's positive reactions. Visualize a standing ovation. If you use affirmations, you will enhance the visualization process and the over-all outcome of your performance.
Affirmations are repetitive positive statements. The more you repeat an affirmation, the deeper it is imprinted upon your subconscious. Your mind eventually accepts the statement as true and works toward manifesting the affirmation as reality. This also works when you repeat negative comments about yourself! The subconscious is just like a very young child; it doesn't differentiate between positive and negative, it only follows orders. So be careful what you say and think.
If you want to help your vocal progress, you might wish to create a few affirmations to repeat to yourself before your audition like, My performance will be perfect or Today, my voice will sound better than ever. These affirmations will help you to focus on your performance and not your nervousness.
Above all else, realize that you are singing for you. If you love to sing and have worked hard at it, then know that you deserve it. Once you breathe, vocalize, visualize, everything will fall into place. Don't think about it, just DO IT! Once you start singing, all that nervousness will melt away, and you'll sound great!
Author of "Raise Your Voice", "Mindset: programming Your Mind for Success" and "Online Teaching Secrets Revealed"