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Just before a performance-how nervous are you?

 
 
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2004 09:27 am
As somebody who's involved in drama (I'm in the only theatre company in Belfast, Northern Ireland, that has a mixture of disabled and able bodied performers) and music (in an award-winning choir) I'm used to public performance, and REALLY love it!!! The question I want to ask is- When you're sitting waiting in the dressing room and backstage just before you go on, how nervous do you feel, and what nervous habits (if any!) do you have? I don't really get too bad, just enough nervousness to keep me excited. The only times when I've been excessively nervous is when we're kept waiting too long past the time we're due on stage. Then, I start to fidget, look at my watch every 2 minutes, and YAWN!!!! I don't mind it too much if it's 10 minutes or so, but at a recent performance, we were kept in the "green room" for AN HOUR after we should have gone on-and by that stage, even Barbara, who is normally the most patient person on earth, was very fidgety and bored!
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mac11
 
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Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2004 09:32 am
Hi Christy - welcome to A2K!

I was horribly nervous in my performing days, to the point of being ill. The adrenalin made me shake! I would jump up and down or pace a lot, and run lines if I could. I had a particular fear of forgetting my first line, so I'd work on that a lot.

I eventually decided that the fear wasn't worth whatever pleasure I got from being onstage, and became a professional stage manager instead.
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Ceili
 
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Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2004 10:00 am
I'm a ball of shaking rubber and sometimes it follows me to the stage, my legs will vibrate so hard I think I'm going to fall over. But I find it easier to go on to a stage than into a crowded room, go figure.
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Letty
 
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Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2004 03:19 pm
Hey, Christie. I was never nervous when I sang at gigs. Very nervous in concert. As to plays, I had a running dream that I was on stage, alone, and had no idea what my lines were, nor what the play was.

When I was in high school, we had forensic presentations that were judged. There were only three of us in this particular drama. My "friend" never learned her little cue lines, so I had to memorize them and mine, too. Didn't work.

AWFUL! To this day, I think she did it on purpose. Twisted Evil

I suppose that practice is the most important aspect..and of course, dress rehearsals.
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realjohnboy
 
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Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2004 05:56 pm
Hi Christy...welcome to A2K...
I did a LOT of acting in the amateur theatre arena when I was younger...perhaps 5 or 6 different plays a year. For me, an otherwise shy and awkward guy, acting gave me the opportunity to be somebody differerent. When I was in the Green Room, I was always eager to get going.
(You and Letty should talk, by the way. She knows more about performing than the rest of us combined). -johnboy
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Letty
 
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Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2004 07:27 pm
No, John. I simply sing in my chains like the sea.......

shy and awkward...a smile of remembrance.

Well, Christie. Put yourself in the mind of the person whom you are portraying. I have felt Lady MacBeth...

Goodnight...
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sparky
 
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Reply Fri 9 Apr, 2004 03:15 pm
I'm a musician/singer. I've found that as I get older, the nervousness has faded. I used to get butterflies for a full day before going on stage. Now, I'm a partner in a business and I have two kids. That's enough to put perspective on what I'm doing on stage - entertaining people.

I still get excited and I find it very difficult to sit around and do nothing, so I try to keep busy until it's time to go on. I have also found that as I have become more confident in my craft (ooh, that sounds so pretentious), I am less nervous about performing. So now I find ways to get nervous about the things I can't control - equipment, weather, etc..... Smile
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Tiaha
 
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Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2004 09:59 am
I'm an actress. I get nervous, but as soon as I step onstage it fades away. as soon as I say my first line it's as if the audience isn't there, it's just another practice. nervous habbits? tearing tissues into shreds. I need to have something in my hands when I'm nervous.
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doris4cecil
 
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Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 09:34 pm
Hey Christie welcome.

i'd have to say that before i go on stage im not actually that nervous. There is a bit of the old butterflies. Everyone around me are freaking out but i just keep to myself.

But just before i walk on stage i get this rush of nerves! When i begin to act though it kind of goes to the back of my mind. I'm still nervous (everyone needs the adrenalin to put on a good show) but i just don't think about me performing in front of a whole theatre of people.

The few times that i have, i have screwed up my lines and made even more of a fool of myself.

But i think that you need the adrenalin.
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Harper
 
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Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2004 07:33 pm
This is Acting 101...relaxation...concentration...hasn't anyone here studied Stnaislavski or Strassberg? I recommend Strassberg's Method by Lorrie Hull for starters.
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CatieO
 
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Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2004 03:03 pm
I am always nervous halfway through the performance, becuase I'll be suddenly struck with the thought "what if I forget my lines??" So I try to just relax and get in to the play. I also made myself a mix-tape of songs that are good to belt out backstage to get rid of nervous energy...some highlights....
1. The Wizard and I from Wicked
2. Defying Gravity from Wicked
3. Summer Loving from Grease
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blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2004 03:15 pm
always excited...never nervous....I am however so anal about details and being well rehearsed it sometimes drives my band mates crazy.....
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Letty
 
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Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2004 05:42 pm
Why am I not surprised, Bi. <smile>
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panzade
 
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Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2004 05:48 pm
When I started playing music professionally I would play with my back to the audience. Someone gave me a tip one day. They told me to pick out someone in the audience and sing just to them. That helped me a lot with stagefright. Being on stage is therapy for me. I'm pretty reserved but when the stage lights go on I exude a different persona
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blueveinedthrobber
 
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Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2004 05:50 pm
me too...I'm agonizingly shy.....
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Letty
 
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Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2004 05:50 pm
Well, for goodness sake, Panz. Pick me out and sing to me...
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panzade
 
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Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2004 06:42 pm
La La La...Blue Eyes Crying In The ...Raaaain
Damn, there's a big white bear blocking my view!
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Letty
 
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Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2004 06:55 pm
Ah, that's Willie singing that damn song.

Bear, Get your butt outta the way.

Bet not one person here knows "Long Black Veil"
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panzade
 
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Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2004 07:03 pm
Ten Years Agooooooooooo
On A Cold Dark Night!
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Letty
 
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Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2004 07:07 pm
Someone was seen in the courthouse light,
There were few at the scene but they all agree,
That the stranger who left looked a lot like me.

She roams these hills
In a long black veil,
She visits my grave
When the night wind wails.
Nobody knows,
Nobody sees,
Nobody knows but me.
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