The performing arts make you dream, but they also make you anxious. Whether it’s theatre, dance or song, you often have to audition. How do you prepare for it?
Claude Webster, teacher, lecturer, vocal coach for over 25 years and author of the book Reaching Your Zone of Excellence – Guide to Performing Under Pressure gives us his advice.
The brain cannot make a clear and immediate representation of a negation, according to Claude Webster. “If I tell you: don’t think about the number 12, you’ll think about it first before you find another mental image to replace it. You should avoid wasting valuable time giving yourself negative instructions such as “don’t talk too fast”, but rather give yourself positive instructions such as “breathe and take your time”. Focus on what to do, not what not to do. »
Calm the inner dialogue.
“The ability to concentrate should be developed through daily exercises, such as focusing only on breathing for five minutes a day. You need to train your little inner hamster. We need to lead our thoughts, not let our thoughts lead us. We can have negative thoughts or thoughts that are too intrusive on every detail of our performance. In order to perform well in auditing, we need to bring ourselves back into the “here and now”. If we are constantly questioning ourselves and our thoughts are jostling around, we are not present in the performance, we are too much in our head. »
Face your fears.
“Stress needs to be demystified. You can’t get rid of stress, but you have to learn to tame it and use it. It’s normal to have stage fright, but it’s the meaning you give to that stage fright that makes all the difference. You have to reframe the stress and name your fears. Behind every fear, there is a need to clarify and identify. »
Recognize what you do right.
“Self-confidence is closely related to self-evaluation of one’s performance. We must avoid generalizations such as “I’m rotten” or “it was great” and try to evaluate ourselves more objectively with measurable criteria, for example, on purely technical points. With this evaluation we will try to improve, one step at a time. Building self-confidence means recognizing what you do well. »
Just before the hearing, use your body to maintain control.
“Before the performance, we use last-minute tools to calm ourselves by using the body. Breathing exercises can be done. Breathing out completely three times in a row is a magic trick to calm down…”