Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 48

Thread: Stage fright

  1. #11
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,024
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    One of my instructors has a saying that is appropos to this kind of situation: "Fake it until you make it!". In other words, don't take it too seriously and have some fun with it!
    I need some practice faking it, then!

  2. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    414
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Well, you know, there are ways and means of faking it. One method a lot of dancers seem to like is creating a dance persona and letting "her" do the dancing. One dancer I know, who is a lovely performer, takes her persona to the limit - she refers to her as "she" and speaks almost of being possessed by her. Her dance persona is younger, thinner, more beautiful and a better dancer than she is. Personally I think she doesn't do herself any favours by disassociating the genuinely engaging and skilled dancer she is from her genuine self, but if it works for her, who am I to judge?

    I used to do this a bit when I first started to dance. I would pretend to be the greatest dancer ever, and think about how the audience loved me so much that it wouldn't matter if I went out there and waggled my finger. But because I was a truly gracious star, I would give them what they came for, which was my very best. That really worked for me. Pretending to be someone else - another dancer I admired, for instance - helped a lot at first too. Over time, a lot of the mindsets that were created by this thinking became second nature.

    I know a lot of people decry the "pasted on smile" but I think forcing yourself to smile helps enormously. For one thing, it's impossible to feel *bad* when you are really smiling. You can fool your body into thinking you must be in a good mood. I used to have difficulty smiling for stage, so I used to pull ridiculous cheesy faces backstage before I was on. This would make me laugh to myself, resulting in a real smile. I also smile when I practice now, partly because it's training me out of that glowering concentration face, so that my default when I do a movement, should something put me off, is going to be a pleasant (hopefully) smile, not frowning or biting my lip.

    A cool exercise to do long-term is to try stepping back from yourself at a time when you're experiencing a certain set of useful emotions - say, you're having a great time out on the town with your friends, or your heart is broken, or you feel vengeful, or whatever. If you can, try and notice what your face and body are doing when you experience this feeling. You can replicate that, and you will *feel* the same feeling, to a greater or lesser extent, when you perform. The next step is modifying it so it's not too full-on (unspeakable anguish, undiluted, is quite horrible to look upon), so you can entertain rather than devastate.

  3. #13
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sussex, England
    Posts
    4,855
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zumarrad View Post
    I also smile when I practice now, partly because it's training me out of that glowering concentration face, so that my default when I do a movement, should something put me off, is going to be a pleasant (hopefully) smile, not frowning or biting my lip.
    I went to an Orit Maftsir workshop and I'm sure she defaults to Gorgeous Smile mode as soon as she starts dancing.

    The pretending-to-be-someone-else thing is useful in real life (?) too; it's just a tool to make you realise you can do it after all. I think the dance persona is less of a "her" and "me" thing than a way to give yourself permission to step outside boundaries that you think other people are setting, or that you set yourself. I really shouldn't be dressing up in sequins and camelling around like I'm God's gift, but she can because she's not me. (Only she is really . Shhhh!)

  4. #14
    V.I.P.
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    In my day dreams most of the time
    Posts
    1,229
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    *Hugs* You guys proper cheer me up.

    I was nearly upset a bit, but now I feel much better. I just wish I could be more confident. I'll be trying those things though lol.

  5. #15
    Member Viv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Yuma, Arizona
    Posts
    150
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The advice I have given my students who are nervous before performing is to think of all their nervousness as being their shadow. As long as you are dancing it's under your feet like a rug and you are dancing on it. If your standing on your fear/nervousness it can't get to the rest of you. This is really effective when you perform somewhere outside where you actually cast a shadow.
    It also might help to remember we've all been there making mistakes, tripping, forgetting choreographies, drawing blanks on what to do next in an improv, there isn't a mistake you can make that someone else hasn't done before you so when you do have an off performance or a blooper, your in good company ;P

  6. #16
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Merritt Island, Fl.
    Posts
    2,574
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The closing line from a renn faire comedy show: "The more we practice, the better we fake it!"

    Some very good thoughts here - if we get to pretend to be someone else, can I be Fahtiem?

  7. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Nijmegen
    Posts
    69
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    my father is fakir in a circus and sometimes he took me on his shoulder when the performance ended, so I growed up wiuth the stage, i never been frightend on the stage.
    You must just think, everything can happen, and they do happen, my cd crashed once, once my costume had a hole, i fell of the stage, i dont care!

  8. #18
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pac NW, USA
    Posts
    3,061
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    You can also try creating a schedule for yourself before a performance. Sometimes staying active and productive doesn't let the nervous energy build up the way it can if you are sitting around stewing about the performance. Maybe taking a bath, stretching, ironing your costume, getting your nails done, going for a run... I find physical activities help me expel nervous energy.

  9. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    414
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Salome, I always tell my students to do that, with an emphasis on low-stress, feel-good, pampery activities, and they always laugh and say "it's easy to see you haven't got children!"

    I totally agree though.

  10. #20
    Member Ariella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    someplace far too cold
    Posts
    320
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hey Sara,
    So this advice I gave to 6 year olds when they were nervous backstage before a play, and I think it can work nicely for nervous people of any age. What I told them is this: Take a lot of deep breaths through your nose, and out through your mouth. Focus only on the breathing. It's not just the focusing on the breathing that will calm you down, but the breathing through your nose will cool your brain off just slightly, making a bit of the nervousness go away.
    Like other people said, I wouldn't advise alcohol before performance. It's important to be well hydrated, and drinking vodka sucks up the body's water supply. So while you might feel less nervous, your perfomance won't be as sharp.
    And if all else fails, just remember all us ladies and gents on orientaldancer believe in you!

Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •