So you've done it! You've got the role and practiced every day, you've planned your stage blocking, you know your cue and the costume is ready. The excitement is building. But with that giddy excitement comes an undeniable apprehension. What if I miss my cue, what if I'm off key, what if the other guy doesn't show up? Worse, what if the audience hates me?! You experience the shaking knees, your throat closes and you can feel your heart beating in your chest. It's not ideal.
So how do we get past this?
I've never really been down with the "pretend your audience is naked" saying. I'm too focused on remembering my lines, I don't need something else to focus on! Plus knowing me, I'd probably just feel embarrassed and get weird about it. Don’t get me wrong, a healthy dose of nerves can be a good thing. It means you are invested, you care about the outcome. That means you’re willing to put the effort in to make it exceptional.
If you're in an ensemble, then don't be afraid. You've been rehearsing for weeks, you've got a support team behind you. And if you're by yourself… well if something goes wrong, the best way to fix it is to pretend it was all on purpose. Who's going to know?? Play it off, keep calm, and everything will fall into place.
A whole lot of time and dedication goes into performances. Learning the lyrics, finding the emotional journey of the song, working with accompanists and practicing your stage presence. There’s no need to be afraid. You've done so much work, so just relax, trust yourself and know that you've got this.