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  •  The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section

    Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.

    Stage Fright, Performance Anxiety, and Getting Over It
    By Tinamarie Hite and Dae Hite

    You are in front of the crowd, you have tried everything. Your band mate says, " Imagine them in their underwear!". You close your eyes and imagine them in their underwear. The visualization is suddenly broken by your collapsing legs. Now you are focused on your jelly legs. You begin to hyperventilate as the thought shoots into your mind, " I know they all are seeing this." Now you feel panic! You feel flushed and Hot as the beads of sweat begin dripping from your forehead.

    We have all been in this space, even if it were for only a short time. Performance Anxiety does have an element of normality to it. We'll go over the basic reasons and how to get past them.

    There main factors which contribute to stage fright:

    1. Lack of stage experience
    2. Shyness
    3. Lack of preparedness
    4. Lack of confidence
    5. Seeing the audience as a separate entity
    6. Not comfortable in the space
    7. Negativity in general

    Get more stage experience! This one is easier than you might think. There are many open mic nights around your city, take advantage of them to not only network with other musicians, but to get that much needed stage experience. Do not worry if you feel nervous here, just force yourself to get out there and do it. Do your best. As with anything, repetition makes it easier.

    Naturally shy people have to make more effort in getting past this particular stumbling block. Be aware that you are shy, and start slow. Interject yourself more often into the simplest of social situations. As you bypass your shy nature, you will see it reflected in your stage performances.

    Being prepared is probably one of the most important elements to overcoming stage fright. If we are caught up on one little mistake we make during a performance, we may find ourselves suddenly in a state of panic. Practice, Practice, Practice! Not only know your material, but practice in front of a mirror to have an idea of how you will look to others on stage. When you are comfortable with both of these, you will find your stage time to be much more relaxed and fun!

    Some people just naturally have no self esteem. We hear often about a musicians EGO, and must keep in mind that some ego is necessary to put on the best performance. My advice, delve into your ego. Creating an elevated ego should clear up any confidence issues.

    It is too easy to see the audience as completely separated from you, but they are an integral part of your show. If the audience boos, it has a direct effect on your playing. If they applaud, you instantly see positive results. Always keep your audience involved in your show. A positive response from them will will melt away your anxiety like magic.

    I always go to a gig early to check out the stage space. For an entire night, it will be my home. Walking around, deciding where to place things, standing in the position I intend to be in and looking off the stage, can make playing in this space later on that much easier. Take the time to get to know your stage before you play. This will make it comfortable when you are actually playing and reduce any anxiety which could stem from a foreign space experience.

    Don't be negative! Some go in right away with a bad attitude; "This bar is a dump, this gig will be bad", " My amp was not working right last night, it is going to mess up during the gig", " My ex girl friend will be in the audience, she is going to ruin everything" . Well, I could go on and on and on. Playing in so many bands, I've heard most of it before. What's bad about this, is it can infect the band before a gig, and everyone will be thinking about the many things that might go wrong. This infectious attitude can make the whole band nervous, and voila...a bad night, full of stage anxiety and everything going wrong. Keep it positive! Say over and over how everything will go as perfect as practice has been going, how the audience will love your music and your performance, and what a great night it will be. If something does go wrong, take it in stride. Mistakes happen and things break. The show must go on. Fix the problem, and forget it. Get on with your show as if it never happened. Most importantly....HAVE FUN!

    Tinamarie Hite Dae at http://www.musicXspot.com

    Dae is a musician and a sound engineer. She has over 20 years expereince in the music business. Her experience covers a wide range of subjects from jazz theory to recording to the know hows of booking, gigging and live stage setup. She is currently working on several music projects. These include singer/songwriter productions, The Acoustic Duo, Cd recording, and a new band. Putting her experience to work comes naturally.


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