Where does ‘stage fright’ come from? I think it’s different from person to person. There are different reasons the person may be scared to perform in front of an audience.
Some people cannot stand the feel of people staring at them. When you have all eyes on you, you can’t help but feel judged and intimidated. Maybe they are staring at what you are wearing, the very outfit that you picked out for the special occasion. As this happens, you start to regret making the decision, you realize that maybe the neck line is too revealing, or that your pants are making you look awkward. Fortunately this does not bother me, I really don’t care if people look, as long as I don’t know them. When these people are my acquaintances and peers, that is a whole different story. Those people technically doesn’t really know you, sure they know who you are, but as a person, they know shit. At the moment where you get up on stage, they will be waiting for you to do something worthwhile, be it embarrassing or not. They want something out of you, if you are able to get their attention, they will always know you as the girl that tripped up the stairs, or had major sweat pits. Of course this has only happened back in elementary school where I had to perform or go on stage.
Another reason that people may get scared up on stage is that there is an expectation to be perfect. People feel that if you are willing to bring yourself up there, you must be good at what you are doing. No idiot would go up here knowing that they will fail, that is just uncalled for. You feel an unwanted pressure put upon your shoulders. You tell yourself that you must not fuck up. The pressure turns into anxiety and you over look everything that you have worked for. You examine your chances of mistakes and try to find a way to ensure that they will not happen, but by doing so you just fucked yourself over. At this point you are truly a pessimistic, you can try to be positive, but you know there is always the chance.
People that care about you care about you not fucking up more than anything else. Why do they hold on to your hand and say stuff like ‘You’re going to do fine.’ or ‘Just don’t mess up alright?’ Yeah they are hoping for the best, but at the same time, they feel that they need to re-ensure you that you are going to be ‘fine’ I think it would be better if they just don’t talk. This is a mental thing that only you know how it feels, you don’t need someone else, an outsider to your own mind to tell you how you should thinking and feel.
Personally I’m more of the second kind of fear. Before I perform, I thinking of all the spots in my piano pieces that I can mess up on, and look over the notes. I over analyze that I have perfected to find that I have ruined the perfect state of mind I was in. I know now that I should play what I feel instead of what is in front of me. Sounds silly, but if I know they piece, I don’t need to try to counteract that with shoving more memorizing into my head.
The moments leading up to the performances are the hardest, I shake, I sweat, I fiddle around. But when the moment is over, it really is amazing. The rush during and after is great. There is a thrill of satisfaction, even if I did fucking up badly. But then again, when you have to do something that determines your future (tests, interviews, competitions, etc ) , short term or long term, you can’t help but feel accomplished.