July 15, 2022
How to perform on stage without being nervous? That's the question we'll answer in this video. Here we go. So, Tom, how do I perform on stage without being nervous? Tell me. The answer is beware of the word not, right. It's not how not to be nervous because even just posing that question. One of the cornerstones of neurolinguistics programming is you know these sounds these words equal feelings. So, I say not that's a negative and I say nervous that's what I don't want to be. So, how to be relaxed? Well, to be, right? How do I want to be not to be. Not to be. Because not to be means you're not here on earth anymore according to Mr. Hamlet. So, how am I relaxed? So, how am I relaxed? Right, what do I do, what do I do to be relaxed? Yeah, what do we do? Well, a big one. Well, it's always taking how do I get the focus off myself, right. Because when the focus is on myself that's what makes me nervous. Like i'm watching myself I'm getting self-conscious. So, to get the focus off myself well, there's a few things. One is have a really really solid technique, that's what we do with actors all around the world every Saturday, right, teach them technique. You'll see this in other videos but 15 guideposts, 6 viewpoints, 4 parts of vocal variation, 4 agreements, 3 tenets, 3 techniques and then work on your voice and speech, right? All true you're just so engaging I'm enjoying listening. Well, but why does that take the focus off of ourselves to do voice and speech...
What is the technique though? What is the technique you're saying? You know, let's be more specific. So, the technique is to keep... The technique is to keep the focus off myself but where do I put the focus? So, you put the focus on to whom am I speaking and what do I want? What do I want from this person, right? That takes the focus off me and puts it onto my scene partner on to the story and what's great I remember discovering in this work is just it's not about me and it's as the actor is not about you. Which is great, it's so nice to know that. It's really freeing, it's about the story and always going back to the text and making sure we're serving this text and this story and if I'm putting my focus on that and if I made choices using technique about who I'm talking to, what I'm fighting for, the moment before, the humor, etc. Again, we teach this in more depth in our studio. You'll just be relaxed because you know where you're going. You have a game plan. You have... a blueprint for that audition, that rehearsal, that performance, and that makes one feel relaxed or me. Well, one of the things about developing a real technique a solid technique what we call the unshakable skill set is it informs you of what the work is. So, if I'm feeling nervous that means I'm still being general. I'm not really clear who I'm talking to and I'm not really clear what I want. Yeah, so much of life is identifying what you want.
I remember when I first started teaching people and they would say to me, "Wow, you're so passionate about what you do when you're so directed". You know, I wish I felt that way and I thought, how can you not feel that way? I mean, one of the things about this clock that's in the left side of our chest is it's a reminder to get on with it that. We don't know how much time we have. So, lead the heart-centered life, am I doing what I want to do? Now, if I'm not doing what I want to do I'm going to feel pretty nervous, right. So, that's a warning and so much of being healthy is early detection. So, so much of actor training, vocal training, physical training, text analysis, script analysis, it puts you more in touch with yourself. So I'm like, why am I nervous here? Well, because I don't really know what I'm playing and it's amazing when we work with people after 20 minute a half an hour they're going, "Oh my God, that was so much more fun". well, you're much clearer about what it is. You were nervous because you weren't really clear, right. Because there was some fear around making a mistake. Remember folks, as an actor there's no right or wrong, there's just choices, and there's a choice and there's another choice which is stronger and then there's the strongest choice. The more you work on technique you will gravitate to the strongest choice in the first position. Why wait? I don't have to go through four versions to get to that strongest choice. Because you realize there are only so many choices and am I making the strongest ones. And that's when this becomes really exciting because it's not am I right doing this right or wrong and do they like me do they not like me. It's here's my point of view. Here's my take on this, have a nice day. So, have you ever felt nervous performing on stage and want to learn how to turn that nervousness into intense excitement? Share your experiences below and subscribe So, another interesting thing about working vocally is that if you aren't connected vocally you aren't connected emotionally. Actors love to say, "Oh, I wasn't connected", I'm always amazed at that. Well, what did you do about it? So, if I'm not connected that's like you're sleeping at the wheel like, hey, you don't have a lot of correction time. So, when you're working you're feeling nervous because you're not feeling connected. Immediately play love or blame even if it makes no sense to you logically. Just blame your partner for something or grab them and kiss them. And why is that? Why? It puts you back in your body and back in the now. Well, you just talk about how our head so...But a lot of times people freeze and that's when they get hurt it's because they froze. Frozen with fear like the deer in the headlights. Well, so why do we need to be back in our body and in our breath and why does that feel so good is because we're in the present moment we are our head ruminates about the past, regrets, misgivings, could it, could have, shoulda, woulda, and the or we're anxious about the future, what's coming next, we're starting to project, we're starting to spin off that way. So, awfulizing. Awfulizing. So, this is all about getting us back into the present moment and that's often when actors feel like they're getting self-conscious is that they're starting to get into their head versus being in their breath, in their body, and feeling grounded in the present moment. So, that's what love or blame does, playing love or bling. And that's always available to you, always. Even if it makes no sense do it. Well, and folks this is a big one underneath. You know, basically, there's fighting, fleeing, or when we have younger teenagers in the room I'll call it funny-cating, those are your choices, right. The weakest choice is fleeing as an actor, right. So, in life. Fight. Well, sometimes fleeing is a good thing, right. Sometimes it's time to declare something complete and to flee but to fight. But I'm always amazed when actors get nervous because what you're really nervous about and this is why we have 15 guideposts, 6 viewpoints, 4 parts of vocal variation, and 4 agreements. While you're playing those things your background, your stuff, is absent, right. But when you think about it, what you're afraid of is really your own criticism, your self-criticism. Because I've been at this for a few decades now. I've never thrown a tomato an egg or a cabbage and an actor. I've never seen it happen. I've never seen anybody insulted. The worst thing I've ever seen happen is thank you and you walk out and you can feel there wasn't a connection made. But that's the worst thing that's happened. So, guys, if you're nervous maybe you're just a nervous person and it's time to train so you don't live your life in fear because to live your life in fear is to die twice. Once is enough. Well, in that, it's not mystical.
It's not a mystery why you're nervous or excited and prepared. It's preparation, it's really quite simple but I think people... Why I'm not sure why. Why do they would they rather live in this is...there's this mystery as to why I'm nervous or I'm just. Well, a lot of the healing aspect of it you know we talk about this and for you, you parents there you know that when you have a really small child they're just going to do what they want to do because they haven't been socialized yet. So, they want your food they're going to take it. They don't like the food you're giving them they're going to spit it out. If you insist they're going to clear the high chair and they don't worry about whether it was appropriate. So, so much of our life is being over domesticated and so much of this work I mean, to do truly dangerous work is spontaneous that you have an impulse and you can act on it. Everybody has to play safely but you know that you understand that intellectually it makes sense but you have to experience it over and over again energetically. Because otherwise, it's just conceptual and it's theory and it's not you know it doesn't translate. Like you, it's like understanding that you can go to the gym and you're going to feel a certain way, you're going to look a certain way, but it's very different to do it, right. Like the concept is you know. Well, and can you clarify because it sounds like on the one hand you're saying we need to be prepared because that's what will make us not feel nervous we'll feel excited but on the other hand, it's our job to be spontaneous and unpredictable because those seem like they're opposing. Because they are...Guys, life is dualism life is all about opposites. We have the need for what's reliable and we have the need for the unpredictable. We have the same need in the casting world. We want you to know know that you're going to be somebody that knows your business, you're going to be early. You know an early means like a half an hour before your call time, right. Which is another way to not feel nervous by the way get there early, be on set. Yeah, but at the same time we also have the need for you to be spontaneous and to do something unpredictable. But if you think about it your relationships are the same way. You want that friend that's reliable or that partner but you don't want somebody who's so reliable they're completely predictable right and that's when people start to look for other options and then they find the unpredictable and they realize how much they like the reliable when it's gone like oh my God, this person's making me crazy going well no you were probably crazy to begin with they're just showing it to you, right. When we're talking about preparation we're talking about you're so prepared that then you can throw it away, that's what we often talk about in acting. And you're so prepared that the part plays you. Yes... that the park can then begin to play you. Remember we say this all the time and we gotta say it one more time. When acting's done well it's seemingly spontaneous and invisible and it seems like that person has a natural gift. They don't, it's study. To be relaxed in front of other people doing this stuff is an art. Much like as a surgeon you know you wouldn't say as a would-be surgeon you know I've always wanted to operate on somebody but I don't want to go to med school and go don't do that. You're going to spend a lot of time behind bars, do not do that. I've never met anybody who's a pilot that goes, "You know, I just wanted to get in the cockpit of a plane and you know know it was a commercial airliner with 230 people I just wanted to give it a shot", actors are like I just wanted to get up there. I'm going wow were on the side of over preparation you will be relaxed. Know that you know what you know and then you'll be relaxed. And first impressions are everything. There forever. Write down, first impressions last looks. In the middle, if it gets a little fuzzy we'll forgive you. But you got to begin strongly and end that way too. Absolutely. So, your craft is born of commitment. We challenge you to study and learn and grow more than you ever have before. Come visit us on Saturdays. Click on the link below.