Fighting My Stage Fright

By Brent Ramirez
Blog Content Contributor

brent
“If you want to conquer anxiety, live in the moment, live in the breath.” Quote by Amit Ray. Photo by Brent Ramirez

Stage fright and performance anxiety are two things that I have suffered from ever since I decided to try my hand in singing in the sixth grade, and I still do to this day. They are both things that singers, dancers and all other sorts of performers have had to deal with at one point in their careers and to some, performing comes much more naturally than others. I unfortunately fall under the category of the latter, but I have been blessed enough to have been given many opportunities to learn and grow as a performer.

Growing up watching my favorite artists perform on television, I always looked up to them and believed I could do the same someday. I wanted to be like NSYNC or  Backstreet Boys and although I had never taken singing seriously then, I eventually took it upon myself to learn. Luckily, the music came naturally to me. It was the performance aspect that I really struggled with. This wasn’t anything new to me as I had been used to messing up at piano recitals and shanking shots at soccer games. My ability to maintain composure was atrocious and that is something that still rings true to this day.

One day in the sixth grade, me and JT, who was my best friend at the time, decided we wanted to try out for the school talent show. We went in to audition for the choir teacher with our acoustic cover of The All American Rejects’ hit single “It Ends Tonight” and we were surprisingly rewarded with the closing slot of the show. Come performance day, I was plagued with a serious case of the nerves as this was my first time truly singing in front of a crowd. All of a sudden, bam. There was nothing but stage lights and silence from the crowd. Leave it to me to have the worst wobbles in my voice with the very first lines. Thankfully enough I managed to get a hold of myself and we put on a great show in the end.

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Brent Ramirez performing stage. Photo by Brent Ramirez

To this day, that performance will always linger on with me as the day that started it all. Throughout high school I became a bit more accustomed to singing and through organizations like band and a capella, I learned just how important the performance aspect was when it came to music. Sure, you could be talented and know what you’re playing/singing, but when it comes to putting on a show, it’s a completely different story. Despite all of these outlets to learn, my nerves never failed to show up on the big day. Eventually I came to realize that these nerves are a natural part of it all.

When it comes to singing and performing in general, I’ve learned that nerves are good. Without the nerves, you’d be sleepwalking through everything and that’s not how you put on a lively show. You embrace the nerves and let them keep you on your toes. Turn those nerves into something positive and let them give you a bit of pep in your step, as cheesy as that may sound. Embracing the fear and anxiety allows you to not only immerse yourself in the performance mindset, but it gives you the ability to perform in a way that you couldn’t when you’re practicing by yourself. Sure, you may mess up, but it’s not game over. You move on from that mistake and you gather yourself. Keep on playing like nothing happened and I promise you, you’ll come out on top at the end.

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