House of Trixie Blue’s Guide to Stage…FRIGHT
How are you all? Fabulous? of course you are!!! We are feeling amazing today as it is our burlesque choreography and The Blue Belles burlesque graduation tonight and we cannot wait to share the experience with these lovely ladies. We are so so so proud of them all and cannot wait to burst with pride tonight.
The graduation today has inspired our blog post because we know how truly scary performing can be and our burlesque ladies have SOOOOOOOOO much guts to do what they do, that this blog post about stage fright is dedicated to them.
House of Trixie Blue’s Guide to Stage Fright
What is stage fright?
In our eyes, stage fright is a heightened form of nervousness which appears when you are about to perform in front of a live or imaginary (such as a camera/video camera) audience. Being nervous is incredibly common, healthy and normal. Being nervous tells your body to react in a certain way, fight or flight, which is integral to performaning. There are various levels of stage fright and here we have attempted to theorise these stages by drawing from our own experience for this draft of the blog post.
1 – Butterflies in your tummy
The most natural and perfectly healthy form of nerves. Having butterflies means you care about your performance, you care about what you are doing and that you are ready for action when the time comes.
2 – Butterflies in your arms and legs
These pesky butterflies no longer want to stay confined to your tummy, they go walk about around your arms and legs, rendering them a little weakened. Same as no.1, this is perfectly ok and can be counteracted.
3 – Butterflies all over your face and they won’t bugger off
Now these butterflies are really taking the biscuit. They think its ok to flutter around your tummy, all over your arms and legs and NOW they have resided on your face (as well as a few stragglers in your tummy/arms/legs), what a bunch of cheeky so and so’s. These type of butterflies 90% of the time can be counteracted, however, if they are persistent, it would be best to chat to a professional.
How to combat stage fright?
The word ‘combat’ makes us think of popping on our armour and getting ready for battle. To be honest, this is pretty much what tip 1 is all about. Anyway ladies and gentleman, here is our top tips to combat stage fright…
Tip 1 – Apply your armour
Your armour, in this case is your stage make up and costume. Make up in performance is a powerful tool. 90% of the time you would apply more than you would in an everyday situation, so this helps you channel your inner performer to be present on your face. This also applies to costume. We are sure the costume you wear on stage is not what you wear everyday (perhaps it is…who knows), so make the connection of transformation from regular fabulous person into our fabulous performer person. Make up tips can be found at www.nellys-obsession.co.uk from our favourite make up artist.
Tip 2 – Breathe
Ok so this is EVERYWHERE! It seems like such a lame tip as everywhere states that if you are nervous you should breathe. It is so true that it should not be forgotten. Breathing in for 5 seconds through your nose and out for 5 seconds through your mouth really helps to steady your breathing. If if makes you feel ridiculous puffing and panting away, perhaps try this little game…works for us!
* Breathe in deep through your nose for 5 seconds
* Breathe out of your mouth for the next 5 seconds BUT control the breath as it comes out like a choo choo train pulling away from the station
Check out this YouTube clip for more information
Tip 3 – Bite your tongue
Hush your mouth…no this is not what we mean. So when you are nervous and trying to counteract your nerves, your mouth gets dry, difficult to swallow and sometimes makes your lip disappear up onto your teeth like this…
There is only so much water you can drink to stay hydrated, heck sometimes there is no opportunity for water at all (but try and always take some to shows with you). So our next tip is to lightly bite your tongue just before you go on stage. Lightly biting it helps produce a weeny bit of saliva, which will help ensure your cotton mouth is hydrated until you get into the swing of your performance.
Tip 4 – Smile and laughter
Our final tip is our best secret. Smile and laughing. Always always smile. Always laugh. Smile at others, laugh with others! Smile at the audience. Laugh with the audience. Smile at yourself in the mirror and laugh at yourself smiling in the mirror. Do nothing but smile and laugh and big belly laugh. Smiling is a beautiful tool that helps release the feel good hormones which helps to relax you plus it provides you with joy and comfort whilst you are trying out tips 1-3. So go on, give us a little smile now. 🙂 Perhaps a little giggle too??
Our Stage Fright Story
We love love love performing here at House of Trixie Blue but we still with 26 years experience, with 6 of those years burlesque performing get truly blooming nervous and sometimes have crippling stage fright. There is one instance in particular where Trixie had an unfortunate run of shows (4/5 I believe) where in each one she slipped on stage – what a plonker.
As you can imagine, this was a confidence shaker and was carried with Trixie to every single event she performed at subsequently to the first fall.
Trixie then started to have stage 3 of stage fright (butterflies over your face and they won’t bugger off), which was a right pretty pain in the bottom. Trixie kept trying tips 1-3 constantly, with tip 4 rearing its beautiful head only but a few times.
It wasn’t until Trixie tripped on a curtain on stage that it made her smile, laugh uncontrollably and realise that no matter what, if you give it 100%, try to combat nerves with a few backstage tips and have fun, the world is your oyster.
(Unfortunately the curtain incident was not this performance. Trixie would like to keep that a secret tee hee hee. However, Flash Gordon is a ridiculous photo, so it felt appropriate plopping it here. Thanks to MA photography for the pic)
We hope that these tips, tricks and stories have been useful or entertaining. We wish you all the best for your performance endeavours. Break a leg.
Love & Shimmies
House of Trixie Blue