Tag Archives: Nerves

Knocking Knees Syndrome

Stage fright is a bewildering affliction that makes it difficult to perform your best. When the adrenaline is pumping through your system your breath is short, the brain won’t concentrate and you are no longer at ease to express the character and the music.

Most of you have probably heard of some cures for stage fright. I say go with anything that works. One old favorite is imagining the audience naked. I think it would be even more effective to see them all in their pajamas. That way they look ridiculous. This reminds you that they are not superior or all-powerful, no matter who they are. Instead,
you are in the position of power. You are, after all, the expert in the room, as far as your songs are concerned. If you were a teacher or a world-renowned expert, you would feel comfortable talking about your subject and no one could intimidate you. That’s the frame of mind you want.

Some other things to try:

Before you actually get up in front of the audience, breathe slowly and deeply. This is very relaxing and gets you off to a good start for deep breaths, which tend to desert you when you’re nervous.

Larger-than-life characters will give you something to concentrate on and a vehicle for getting your energy out of you and aimed at the audience. Or try working out a lot of big gestures for your next performance. Most of them will be left in the practice room, but if you’re used to being physically free and moving around, you’re less likely to freeze up
when performing.

And if the nerves are just making you shake, let your knees shake as much as they want. Fighting it (stiffening up) will only make it continue and even get worse. If you do this just before the performance, you can generally get rid of f some of the jitters.

Fretting over every little slip will make the performance go downhill, whereas concentrating on what is happening now (rather than what you did two phrases ago) will keep things going smoothly.

Finally, preparation is key to feeling good when you’re in the spotlight. Know your music and know what it is that you want to put across.