What are the symptoms of stage fright?
Symptoms can occur at different levels:
Physiological: sweating, altered heart rate, headache, upset stomach, chills, nausea.
Cognitive: congestion and mental confusion, fear of failure and ridicule.
Behavioural: urge to escape from the situation, stuttering, frequent or long silences.
Stage fright is very common within the performance world, and is nothing to be ashamed of. There is an argument that it can actually add to your overall performance once your on stage or infront of the camera/microphone.
Stage fright is not the same as being nervous - it is much more intense.
For the the purpose of simplicity I am here grouping anxiety and stage fright under the same banner. In truth however it is more complex than this, but don't worry if you need help we together will find the best solution.
First of all let me be honest - I suffered terrible stage fright at school and in my late teens, and this often extended to anxiety in life generally.
Much as I enjoyed acting - I found it really hard to beat it - despite the fact that once actually performing I was fine. Knowing this did not help!
It is the reason I stopped performing soon after school and went behind the scenes.
However I do not advocate running away from something you enjoy once your doing it.
Instead we need to build up your confidence and understanding of the problem, and how best YOU can cope with it.
More often than not there is no logic to the fear and that can be really frustrating.
Sometimes a particular role or character can bring out the fear where running away from it [taking flight] seems the only soluction [it is not].
For me at school I hated anything with singing, dancing or certain forms of dress.
Whatever or whenever it occurs stage fright can have a high price to it by costing you the chance to perform if you let it - so the answer is - we don't let it - Dramania and Act4ward are both setup to help performers through this - be it a general problem, or one brought on by a particular role or performance character demand.
Remember your not alone - some of our greatest actors and performers suffer from this and they get past it - so tell yourself "so can I".
Once in costume it often feels better!!