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May

Stage Fright (more stage horror really)

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I need something for nerves and stage fright. I shake and my voice shakes too.

 

HALP!

 

:)

 

May

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I'd cast my vote for Audacious, too.

Though I have a little mind-trick I used to use when I got stage fright. I'd be willing to share it, but I'm not sure it's appropriate to put on the public part of the forum, (hmm... irony?), because A). it's kind of gross, and B). I don't want to thread-jack. But I can make a post for it in my journal if you're interested. :)

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Eggers, yes please! I speak often and still have stage fright. I tend to use Leather or LFM because they give me a bounce in my step. Leather makes me feel a little more competent. I don't normally use it because I feel bitchy and not myself when I do, but for speaking I feel a bit of an edge. I am going to try audacious next time though!

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I second TG, please post your trick Eggers!

 

And May, I hope the audacious works! Please report back and let us know :)

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K. I posted it. Warning you here though: it's unconventional and gross. :) Good luck.

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Go see your doctor and ask about getting a beta blocker, such as propanolol, to take before performances. It does not interfere with your cognitive or motor functions. It just blocks some of the adrenalin receptors in your heart, which stops the cascade reaction of physical symptoms of anxiety. It is an inexpensive medication and does not have many side effects.

 

There are also deep breathing exercises that can be very effective and fast acting. There are also cognitive behavioral therapies that can help control it, especially if you are unconsciously engaging in negative self talk (e.g. thinking to yourself that you are going to mess up, you are going to trip on stage, say something stupid etc.)

 

But really, the beta blocker can go a long way towards making the whole problem go away.

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Ooh! I wish I'd known about beta-blockers when I was modelling. I was always worried I was going to snag my shoe on something, or step on the hem of a dress and fall flat on my face! I swear I used to hear my knees knocking before I went out! Lol!

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Xev is totally right about the Beta Blockers. They are great for any kind of social anxiety. I used them during my divorce trial to great avail. I ordered mine from overseas and still have enough to last til I die!

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I don't really get stage fright but the few fits I've had have been quickly and completely eliminated by focusing on one or more specific people (spaced apart) in the crowd and focusing on talking/ singing to them and deciding that we are the only 2 people in the room. Of course this wont work if you're part of a musical ensemble, or acting, in which case obviously you should be focusing 1000% on the conductor/ other players...works the same way

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I have tried a beta-blocker but it gave me a very dry mouth. This is for singing so that kind of rules it out. :( I will take a look at audacious though. :)

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Actually, having googled I am wondering if I took the right dose of propanol. I only took 10mg and so the dry mouth could have been nerves not the drug. Some sites say 40mg is usual for stage fright, don't know what others think, but if so it might explain things.

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Go see your doctor and ask about getting a beta blocker, such as propanolol,

 

Xev is spot on. I was prescribed this just a couple of years ago for my heart, and I WISH I was prescribed it during my music career. I used to have occasional bouts of debilitating stage fright, with shaking hands and panic attacks. When it was prescribed to me I was told that it's been prescribed to performing musicians since the 1960's. Why none of my doctors thought of this I have no idea. So I can attest to this being an excellent idea, but I also want to bring up the drawbacks...

 

You definitely do not want to self-medicate, you want to consult a doctor on this, because too high a dose can stop your heart. The dose I'm on for propanalol, the common strength, is very light - 10 mg per pill. If you take too much you can experience extreme light headedness, fainting, low blood pressure, vertigo. I took 2 instead of 1 one day by accident - couldn't remember if I'd taken it yet so it took it twice, and I had near-fainting vertigo that lasted 3 days and hit me every time I stood up. More does not necessarily work better, nor does it make you high like Valiuum does, it makes you very very uncomfortable.

 

I also want to share a bit of personal experience with dealing with my own stage fright that might help. I spent over 20 years of my life onstage. I realized that my stress level completely impacted on my bouts of stage fright. If there were other problems on my mind, my stage fright was worse. If I was able to put any additional issues out of my head, I was completely comfortable onstage. If you can take whatever steps you can to make sure that you have no stresses to think of on the day you are called to perform, you'll feel better.

 

The other thing I learned, is that other people's opinions of your performance usually have more to do with them than with you. I learned not to worry about what other people think and only please myself - which was probably a higher standard than most of my audience anyway. I've been through phenomenal shows where a friend or fan would say was "eh", and when I asked how THEY were doing, would learn that they got home from work to find all of their clothes on the lawn because they'd been thrown out. And have done mediocre performances that fans judged as great because they had a great day themselves or were in love or whatever.

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Ah, May - I was writing when you posted. PLEASE don't take more than 10 mg unless specifically prescribed by your physician!

 

Please tell us about your singing when you have a chance! What is it that you are performing? :)

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I take 10 mg daily for anxiety. I love it because it treats the root, physical cause of my anxiety without tranquilizing me or messing with my brain neuroreceptors. My cardiologist has told me I can take it daily or just as needed, but I find it works better with daily use. Without it, my resting heart rate is usually around 100.

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other people's opinions of your performance usually have more to do with them than with you.

This is true of SO MANY THINGS. Not just perf. Worth repeating

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