Stage Fright -Auditions -Music -Performance -Screen Test -Acting
( Public Speaking -Speechmaking -Wedding Nerves )
Imaginative people can construct ingeniously disproportionate fears from intrinsically
harmless situations. Although auditions for acting parts or musical performance are
often occasions with a lot riding on the outcome, there is often entirely unnecessary
concern about possible but unlikely disasters.
Arts performance nerves, as in stage fright results generally from thinking rather
about the audience, the fear of forgetting and images of failure , than connecting
with the right elements of competent performance. It is amusing to note how seldom
sufferers worry about the vulnerability of fellow performers on whom their own
success may be entirely dependent !
Equally, though some wedding nerves are to be expected - as is some apprehension
around the speechmaking demands made by this or similar occasions, the very way we
prepare can train us to be overly self-conscious.
Thus, instead of being freely expressive and entering easily into the occasion, one
becomes over-agitated and self-monitoring. Pre-occupations with the way we sound
or how we act or how others see us - and trying too hard to get this right - only
undermines our performance. Driving test nerves are a particularly clear example
of a similar process in a different context.
All sorts of signs and symptoms - like blushing, stuttering or sweating and awkward
uncoordinated behaviour may then break out and become a focus of our attention. The
attack of performance nerves and fear of forgetting or doing things wrong now have
all the allies needed to defeat us.
Often such a process can be so overwhelming that a performer may break down with
stage fright and be unable either to go on or to continue with a performance.
Exam situations and other kinds of test situation - like a personal review, driving
test or sports competition can also represent this in a different form.
In an elaborate self-torture, the worst aspects of bad experiences are amplified
and used to fuel even more graphic apprehensions about any upcoming situation.
It is very hard to inhabit a dramatic character or carry out any other demanding
duty when already fighting a host of internalised fears and failures. Acting ‘ not
acting acting ‘ usually proves to be a performance too far !!
Cognitive behavioural techniques are useful to analyse and identify the specific
components of the de-stabilising processes - and the way they run.
Ericksonian Hypnosis can then be used to disengage old patterns and to separate away
the memories of old difficulties. These are replaced these with newly constructed
resources and awareness which connects a repertoire of feelings and behaviours which
are confident, spontaneous and effective.
You may be taught self hypnosis or be provided with personally designed recorded
tapes or MP3 tracks containing powerful reassuring suggestion in order to reinforce
and further amplify the process.