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Essay on Overcoming Stage Freight

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Sarah feels totally confident as she looks over her lines for the final time before the curtain opens. She landed the leading role in her favorite play, Romeo and Juliet. She practiced and rehearsed over and over again to perfect her character; she is ready. As the curtain raises and the play begins, she watches the audience; “Where did all these people come from?” she asked, “I didn’t expect this many!” She starts to feel a tingle, a tingle in the back of her neck. It spreads down her shoulders and to her arms and finally her hands. thump thump, thump thump, thump thump; her heart is racing in her chest. Sarah sits down, frozen with fear.
Stage fright is an acute nervousness associated with performing or speaking before an audience. It
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If an actor finds herself getting extremely nervous or if the attempt at raising her self-confidence does not work, she can try to calm herself down by thinking of things that make her happy and excited. These thoughts take the mind away from what is going on and soothe the actor into a more calm state suitable for performance.
Sarah closed her eyes and tried thinking of different things that could possibly calm her down. She thought of her dog back at home and how he would run after the tennis ball she threw; she thought of her friends and all the fun they had when they went dancing. Sarah grew a big smile on her face until she suddenly heard someone from the stage calling “Juliet!” She opened her eyes and jumped up. It was only her name being stated, not her cue. She was relieved.
Smiling in relief, Sarah looked back out on stage. She saw the actors and saw the audience, and began feeling that tingling sensation in her hands once again and immediately sat back down. She tried closing her eyes and thinking of those happy times as she did before, but it did not help anymore, she was too startled from hearing her name. She got up and paced back and forth back stage trying to think of what she was taught to do in this situation, “What am I going to do?” she asked herself, “What am I going to do?”
Sarah remembered what one of her teachers had told her... “the main cause of stage fright is anxiety (which she tried overcoming earlier).
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