Performing Tip: Use Scripting To Help Conquer Your Nerves
Are nerves affecting your performance? You are not alone…
Let’s face it, performing can bring up nerves for even the most seasoned professional. Unfortunately, fear shows up at the most inconvenient of times and in the most obnoxious of ways….breathing becomes shallow, throat gets tight, mouth gets dry, lip quivers, or shaky knees…we have all been there.
Before you give up the stage for good…there are ways to master your fear and perform with more confidence, and today I am going to share with you a 20-minute exercise that will help transform your butterflies into songbirds.
Even after 30 years of performing I still get nervous…because of my nerves, I have had to seek out ways to keep my jitters to a minimum. It is not my fault – or your fault – that we get nervous. It is truly all about mind-set. And at some level, our idea or action of performing kicks us into our fight or flight instincts and our body is simply trying to get us to move to a more pleasurable, non-threatening experience.
What we need to do is change how we feel about performing. Feeling is the key.
Let me introduce you to “scripting,” an exercise passed on to me by my life-coach,Kat Wells (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is a ton of research on the benefits of visualization, and athletes have long used different methods of visualization as a way to perform their best. Singing is a performance sport. We can learn from the best and start breaking – or making – some our own records.
Try this to perform with more confidence….
Grab a notebook and pen…it is better to freehand this rather than use a laptop
Find a spot where you can write freely for about 20-minutes
Write down the details of the following and include how you feel about each of them…
1. What is your setting…even if you are not sure of the precise details, use some common stage elements to create the space. What do you see, smell, hear, and feel as you enter the theater?
2. What are you wearing…how does the fabric feel? How do you feel in this outfit?
3. What are you performing…how to you feel while you are presenting…go ahead and break this down into vocal technique aspects that you want feel.
4. What are the general reactions of the audience and/or directors…what feelings do you sense coming from those that are watching your performance?
5. How do you feel when you are done?
Take the time to create your performance as you truly want it. Engage your imagination. This should be fun. If you start feeling any resistance in the process, take a break and come back to it when you are ready.
This exercise delivers great results…
When I did this exercise, I wrote it all out and read it out-loud to myself a week before I had a big audition. It was easily the best audition I have had. I nailed every acting choice, my voice was free and open, and I left feeling really good about what I had created. Plus, I landed the role I wanted. I have since used this exercise before other performances and presentations, and the results have always been positive for me.
By writing it, seeing it, reading it out-loud, and feeling it, this one exercise retrains your brain using four different methods…audio, visual, sensory, and kinesthetic. Stimulating all these parts of your subconscious can help to subdue that fight or flight instinct and retrain you to look forward to and even enjoy performing.
Give it a try…work all those areas of your brain and sit back and watch your butterflies transform into songbirds. Let me know how it goes by commenting below. And pass this exercise on to a friend to help them experience a performance break through as well!
Until next time…Rejoice In Your Voice™!
November 9, 2013
Great stuff Tricia. Your description of the spazzy things our bodies do when we’re nervous made me laugh & brought back lots of memories from my years as a dancer. Your visualization tools are spot on. Dancers, singers, actors, and ALL performers will find these strategies exceptionally helpful. Thanks for sharing!
November 10, 2013
Thanks, Susannah, so much for your comment! I am so glad you liked the tip!I am singing tomorrow and have already created my script:) Have a great week and thanks again for stopping by:)
November 12, 2013
Great stuff. I know you write specifically for singers but much of what you say applies to speakers as well.
Thanks for all the tips and for the encouragement.