I love this question because so often we really get in our own heads, and anxiety and stress can get inside our heads and actually sometimes make performances not enjoyable. Oftentimes singers and performers have this feeling of dread before they go on stage, which is not really what we want. This is our passion. Even though we love doing it, we can still get lost in our own heads. So, how can we get excited about it instead? Well, first tip I would give is preparation. Make sure you are prepared and you know what you’re doing when you go on that stage. Make sure you have no doubt that you know the words, you know the melody, you know your cues, you know what the band’s going to do – all those things are very important. And then you can focus a little bit more on excitement.
Also, really try your best to engage with your audience. Think about what your audience is doing, think about who they are, and think about how you can interact with them, and why you’re there to interact with them. Oftentimes, an audience can give us energy that we can’t provide for ourselves. So, I would really draw upon that energy. Not only that, but draw on the energy of the people around you too. Whether you’re in a musical theater group or you have a band behind you, or an entire chorus full of people, draw on their energy too. Just enjoy your time up there. Remember to go back to why you wanted to perform, why you stepped foot on that stage, and who is it that you’re wanting to please – is it yourself? your audience? the people around you? It’s absolutely an invigorating experience if you’re prepared to let it be that.
Aditya Yadav on Handling Nerves Before a Performance
Handling nerves before a performance isn’t always easy, but here are my two tips. The first is to really bring your breathing down to a slow pace, so it’s nice and relaxed as much as you can. What happens when we slow down the breathing and take deep breaths, is that you relax and balance your nervous system, which is all haywire when you’re feeling really nervous.
The second tip is to think of your nerves like this: imagine that they’ve got your back. They’re your cheerleaders who are so excited to see you perform well, but they’ve just gone a bit haywire doing back flips and doing some really interesting movements. But all the while, having your back and wanting you to do your best. Your nerves are therefore, actually your friends. Your nerves are there because they care about your performance. They care about how you perform. Just tell them, “Thank you for your attention. Thank you for your feedback, but I’ve got this.”