Scary-scary stage

Vastly familiar stage fright comes with age, by the way, with rather young one: a 5-year-old child cheerfully chants a rhyme now at some school event and just a couple of months later he would go a long way just to escape any public appearance even among those he knows well. If he fails, then the enemy – we mean the fear –develops further tactics: trembling knees, flaring cheeks and more. We know the reason – it’s the issue of psychological complexes. Hardly one can guarantee to avoid it: either the parents unintentionally utter something discouraging to their child, or somebody from the outside does it – it matters not. A careless look is sometimes enough to plant the seed of fear or insecurity in a person. Gnawing down to the origin of it in the adult age can bring nothing but the disappointment: blaming others cannot take away the damage. That’s life.

So let’s say the complex (stage fright in our case) is our reality, however sad it may sound. Pieces of advice of conquering it are scattered like weeds on the lazybones’ yard. Some say you need to image your spectators in a silly awkward way and why should you be ever ashamed of doing something wrong before such a degraded audience? Others offer to pick a more or less encouraging face among the audience and perform exclusively for him (poor candidate!). Some even say you can pretend the concert hall is empty and you perform just for yourself: if there is nobody there is nothing to be afraid of. All of these work at some level. What if we try to look deeper…

Having suffered an awful dozen of years at the stage, blushing and stuttering each time, it felt just about time to give up. A discovery was made softly, almost invisibly: you’ve got to love your spectator. Well, I don’t kill anybody, – you can argue. Yes, I know, we all love everybody but that’s not it. When you love – you trust. The spectator has already put away his plans (in case when it’s not a division of soldiers who were made to come for a glimpse of art), he put his busy life on pause, took his seat and is waiting – waiting for your performance. He is waiting for you to sing or play, to tell or to dance. He chose to be here and that means he already loves what you are going to present. No judging implied, just enjoying. He is already savoring the magic that is so different from his mundane reality – the delectable magic you are going to create on stage. Trust it and there’s going to be no place for your fear.