Mudcat Café message #1561863 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #84530   Message #1561863
Posted By: Don Firth
12-Sep-05 - 12:54 PM
Thread Name: Advice for a Nervous Performer
Subject: RE: Advice for a Nervous Performer
Early on, when I was first starting to perform, I got two pieces of advice that I have since found invaluable.

First, I was told by an old, life-long classical concert performer that—assuming they know their material and have practiced assiduously beforehand—the main reason most people feel nervous before or during a performance is that they are thinking more about what the audience thinks of them than they are about the music. "It's not about you," he told me, "it's about the music. You're just the vehicle. Think about the music!"

And second, when I was petrified at the idea of doing a live television show, the producer noted my nervousness and said, "I know you're probably thinking about all the thousands of people who will be watching. But forget that! You don't get nervous if you're singing to a couple of people in their living room, do you? Remember, you're coming through only one TV set at a time, and there are probably no more than one or two people in front of that set. Think of someone you know who will be watching and do the show for them."

I would add to this what several people above have said:   Be prepared. Know what songs you're going to do (tape a set list to the side of your guitar, or whatever), and have the songs solidly practiced up. Walk out on stage (or whatever) determined that you are going to like your audience, and they will like you.

I soon found that I no longer got nervous as such. I got keyed up—the adrenalin was flowing—but it was eagerness to get out there in front of the audience.

And applause is like a drug. It's highly addictive. But—no harmful side effects!!

Relax! Enjoy!!

Don Firth