Stage fear is a common phenomenon among all artistes. The ones who are most scared are the ones who have to hold the mic – the speakers and the singers. While many aspiring artists complain of irregular heartbeat while facing the crowd, other complain of irregular breathing. The good news for you is, that the problem is not as big as you think.
What you perhaps don’t know is that everyone, right from Manish Paul to Sonu Nigam to Shahrukh Khan to our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is initially scared, even after having embraced the stage hundreds of times. Interestingly, award-winning singer Kumar Sanu – who himself has performed in over a thousand concerts complained of this problem to the legendary Asha Bhosle.
Kumar Sanu told Asha Bhosle that his hands get cold while performing on the stage. Asha Bhosle, the personality that she is, asked Kumar Sanu to touch her hands. Amazingly, the hands of Asha Bhosle – the world’s most recorded singer – were colder than those of Kumar Sanu. Asha Bhosle told her that as long as your hands are cold, you are an artist.
What she meant to say was that this fear of the stage and the crowd is a positive sign. It means that your body and instincts naturally realize the responsibility of catering to people’s needs. It is now your duty to convert this fear and anxiety into positive energy. In fact, if you utilize this fear in the right manner, you can perform much better than your own expectations.
There are many singers who sing well otherwise, but not in front of a crowd. The main reason for this is lack of experience. The first thing you need to know is that they are humans, and they also know that you are human. One great thing you can do is engage with your audience for a few minutes before singing.
Many people also have a fear of public speaking. While many children take to the stage even during their school days, many men and women avoid the stage even till the time they are well settled in their lives. A great exercise to eliminate this fear gradually is by socially connecting and opening up to more and more people.
Confidence is a great asset, which sometimes helps unaccomplished singers perform better than highly trained singers. You have to be confident and know that you are not less than anyone else. Just like an examination, if you have prepared hard enough, you are most likely to succeed.
Do regular ‘Riyaz’ or practice before appearing on the stage. Rehearse each and every song that you are going to perform a quality number of times. If this is your first performance, begin with one or two songs at maximum. And begin by performing the songs that you are most comfortable with.
Another great exercise is to rehearse enough with the orchestra, band or karaoke tracks before getting on to the stage. If you are singing with a karaoke track, you can rehearse the song at any time before the performance. But if you are performing with a band or musicians, try to rehearse the song with them at least once, so that you are accustomed to singing with live music before actually getting there.
And last but not the least. If singing is your passion, you should be willing to sing. Don’t keep waiting for a big stage or the right stage. Sing whenever you get a chance. Whenever there is even one person who is in the mood to listen to your song, sing. Even if you get a chance to sing in a huge event without enough preparation, give it your best shot.
Remember that the world’s most renowned artistes have all faced this situation. Just know that while you will always improve, you have to make the best of this chance that you have. So drop all fear, know that you are not less than anyone and sing your heart out.