Nerves can plague everything from remembering lines, to losing the character, to an actor critiquing him or herself mid performance. When an actor is being attacked by nerves they can become hyper aware of everything from their accent, to how they delivered a line, what their hands should be doing, the audience, their heart beating and so many other other things.
Nerves can provide fuel for a performance if we take control, but if an actor doesn’t know what to do with them their focus on their nerves intensifies and the nerves appear to get bigger and bigger until eventually the performance is destroyed. I want to offer you 4 easy tips to help you stop nerves ruining performances so you can finally get them under control and feel relaxed and properly focused. Like magic, the nerves will melt away, and rather than beating yourself up about your performance it will flow beautifully and you’ll feel happy.
STOP NERVES RUINING PERFORMANCES IN 4 EASY STEPS
- BREATHE – breathing is so underrated and is so useful in times of stress, which nerves perpetuate. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Make sure the breath in is shorter than the exhale.
- RELAX – easier said than done I hear you protest. Nerves are a matter of prioritising where to place your focus. Sit in a comfortable chair, work your way through each area of your body gently saying “I give you permission to relax” (in your mind).
- PURPOSE – the character you’re playing has a purpose in every scene, which will help you find their behaviour, however if you focus only on your nerves your behaviour will come from a place of fear, which will create dissonance between yourself and the character (this is why you end up feeling like you did a bad job and beating yourself up). Get clear on your character’s purpose and repeat it over and over until you believe it.
- IMAGINATION – imagination is blocked when nerves take over, but you need to engage it to help you find the belief in the character’s circumstances. Take a good chunk of time before you’re due to start the scene to imagine the smells, sounds and sights of the scene.
So as you can see nerves can easily be controlled and channelled so you can give a unique, original powerful performance that runs smoothly. I suggest you set aside a good amount of time before your scene or production to run through these fail-proof tips.
Which one are you going to try first? Let me know in the comments and lets have a conversation. You can also share this blog with your acting friends to help them stop nerves ruining performances, just click the social media icons.
Can’t wait to chat in the comments.
Don’t give up, keep learning to start earning!
STOP BEING INVISIBLE & GET NOTICED!
You can also join our method acting army over on FACEBOOK and be part of the acting movement, which I think you’ll love!
Hope to see you there!