The Theatre 101 Series is a set of introductory articles meant to explain theatrical concepts and situations to young actors as well as adult theatrical newcomers. View the whole series here.
Do you get anxious thinking about being the center of attention? Does public speaking make you squirm? Is giving an oral presentation to your class or office one of your biggest fears? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you experience “stage fright.” Don’t worry– you’re in good company. Science suggests that around 73% of the population experience this phenomenon as well.
Almost everyone contends with some fear of public speaking or social anxiety. Many would-be actors cite stage fright as the reason they chicken out of performing. Yet, stage fright is a fact of life. Even most seasoned performers also experience stage fright! Though practice and experience lessens preformance-related anxieties, many agree that stage fright never completely goes away. So how to veteran actors deal with it?
Although the fight against stage fright will seemingly never truly be won, performers employ a variety of methods to help conquer their nerves and perform successfully. Here are just a few.