During a run at London’s National Theatre, one of the best actors of our time, Sir Lawrence Olivier, apparently had to have the stage manager push him onstage every night. After forgetting the words of a song at a concert in Central Park, Barbra Streisand was so mortified that she avoided performing live for almost 30 years. Meg White from the band The White Stripes had to stop touring due to the intense panic she felt being on stage.
Dr. Gordon Goodman, a professional actor turned psychologist, did research on performance anxiety in professional actors. He discovered that professional status, experience, and even prior success, have nothing to do with levels of stage fright.
The only predictive factor is self-confidence. Confidence reduces anxiety and allows the actor to focus on the performance rather than possible negative outcomes.
My next Inner Stage™ workshop, Stage Fright! (and how to manage it)™ is on Monday, April 22nd at 6PM at The Leadership Program in Manhattan. Join us in getting rid of the fear and building the self-confidence needed to enjoy your time on the stage.
Register here, you won’t want to miss it!
© 2013 Valerie Simon, LCSW, PAT