How to make the most of your time on stage
Isn’t it frustrating when you have prepared for a fantastic performance, the mood is set, the crowd is ampped, and all of a sudden it hits you! The butterflies in the stomach (not the good ones when you are in love) sweaty palms, a feeling of dread and the words and moves to the songs vanished, just like that. This is very common among performers but also very manageable. So take the time to read on and get ready to ace those performances!
Dealing with Stage Fright, Stage Presence and Movement
The number one rule of developing a strong stage presence is to be confident!
Audiences can sense if you’re afraid or doubtful about your performance. However, audiences will often forgive anything as long as you appear to know what you’re doing—they’ll think it is part of the act!
Plus, a sense of confidence will give you the loose, relaxed, retracted (non constricted) vocal cords that you need to deliver a stunning performance.
The following tips can help you develop the professional stage presence you need to sweep your audience along with your soaring vocals.
• Familiarize yourself with the venue beforehand and test the acoustics. If you can, rehearse. Check for blind spots.
• Avoid wearing anything that restricts your throat, such as a tight collar or scarf.
• Avoid wearing any footwear that will clatter on the stage.
• When selecting an outfit, think of what will look good under the lights and highlight your face. Your outfit should not compete with your voice for attention. Many musicians prefer black clothing, because it is both uniform and neutral.
• Practice vocal warm-ups before you go on stage … and rehearsing songs doesn’t count!
• Get down to business. There’s no reason to waffle about once you walk on stage. Acknowledge the audience and get down to why they came: the music!
• Project energy and enthusiasm
• Express your music facially, with genuine emotion and conviction.
• Smile. Be at ease!
• Enjoy yourself on stage. Have fun and the audience will have fun along with you!
• Know your audience and give them what they want … even if it means improvisation.
• If your audience is small—or too close for comfort—you can look just above their heads rather than at them directly. Singing directly to an individual, if you don’t know that person, can make that person feel uncomfortable, so use this kind of eye contact sparingly.
• Know your stuff so well that even if your accompanist stumbles, you can carry on.
• Have a “plan B” in case you forget the lyrics … in case the audience breaks into spontaneous applause that lasts into your next section … in case the band takes off in a different direction … in short, for any contingency you can imagine!
You wouldn’t have made it this far in the book if you weren’t serious about singing.
Serious singers don’t just sing for themselves; they sing for others. Sometimes, serious singers get paralyzed at the thought of performance. When they get up on stage, it is just them, their voice, and the crowd. What if they forget their lines?
What if they trip? What if the audience boos? So much could go wrong!
Stop that line of thought. The power of positive thinking has been well documented.
Visualizing a perfect performance the night before—or even minutes before—you go on stage can actually help you relax and pour your heart into performing without worrying whether you’re doing it right.
If positive thinking just won’t do it for you, practice will! Get started singing at your local karaoke bar. Try out some of the performance ideas that have been floating about in your head. If you’re worried about what people will think, wait until close to closing. We promise that most people won’t be sober enough to remember much of your singing the next day!
The more you practice and get used to performing, the easier it will become.
Karaoke bars give you a great forum to get out there, perform, and make mistakes … and see what happens when you do. Karaoke audiences are much more forgiving than concert crowds. If you can handle yourself well at karaoke, you’ll know what to do when you flub up at a concert—and if you’re confident enough the audience may not even notice.
If you’re worried about making mistakes, there’s only one thing to do: prepare, prepare, prepare. The more you prepare for a performance before you go on, the less you’ll have to think once you’re on stage, and the more likely your vocal and physical “autopilot” will come on and take you through the performance. If you have specific fears, create backup plans to deal with them. Don’t get caught in a situation where you don’t know what to do. Once you’re confident in your ability to deal with anything, you CAN deal with anything, so why worry?
You may even find that a small dose of stage fright will give you an edge, a burst of adrenalin that enables you to deliver your top performance. Many top singers, including Barbra Streisand and Bruce Springsteen, consistently feel stage fright before going on stage. Yet they go anyway AND consistently deliver great performances.
If none of these suggestions seem to help, you may want to try deep breathing exercises, yoga, even hypnotism. DO NOT try alcohol or drugs. Alcohol can interfere with your vocal cords, and both will impact your performance.
We at Singorama know that nerves and stage fright affect different people to different extremes. If you have wondered how to get yourself even calmer or you are one of those people whose fear paralyses them to the point where they cannot go on stage, then we have a great solution for you. Singorama 2.0 offers you an exclusive, specifically designed relaxation track to assist you in overcoming this crippling fear.
Even if you just want to be more confident in your performance and…..you should check it out. There is nothing worse than having a gift and talent and letting fear and anxiety hold you back. You are actually denying us your audience the joy of listening to you and experiencing all you have to offer. So don’t delay! Singorama 2.0 offers you an entire lesson on performance and performance anxiety.
When you’re on stage, you’re not expected to stay in one place. The audience surrounds the stage, and if you only sing to those in front of you, those on the side will not feel connected to your performance.
For this reason, many singers follow a simple pattern of stage movement.
1. Start the song in center stage.
2. At the first mood shift in the song, move to the right of the stage. (You may wish to reverse this and move first to the left.)
3. At the next shift in the song, move to the left.
4. At the next shift, move back to center stage.
5. As the song concludes, move upstage to the “power position,” front and center, near the crowd.
You should remember the following tips about stage movements:
• Just as you would stand still and smile when being introduced to someone, so you should stand still for few moments when you begin your first song (center position), so that the audience can get a good look at you and get to know you.
• Your movements should not be random. Rather, they should match the shifts within the music—or break up particularly long bits with visual interest.
• Make sure that, as you move, you do not turn away from any part of the crowd. Everyone should be able to see part of your face at all times.
In the next newsletter you’ll learn about just how easy it is to catch the attention of an audition panel and use the crucial 3-10 second window of opportunity to wow any potential casting directors. This is one you wont want to miss. This could be the difference between being on American Idol and watching it form your sofa at home!
Another Singorama Success Story!
We are so excited about Singorama 2.0 that we know you wont be able to resist the amazing offer we have for you today. So check out the fantastic free software we offer you, to get you singing like the professional you always dreamed you could be!