How To Overcome Stage Fright

Robin-Williams.-006You may not consider yourself an actor. But in this life you are a performer. 

I’m not saying God created us just to put on a show for Him.

I do think He created each of us to perform a unique role in His story.

Being called on to perform is incredibly scary. As you stand backstage waiting for the curtain to rise in your life, the weight of your burden can become suffocating.

As you run through the lines you’ve rehearsed in your head, you wonder about everything that could possibly go wrong.

It’s called Stage Fright. It’s a feeling every performer understands. It’s a force every performer must overcome each night.

Just when you’re about to make a break for the exit, the curtain finally rises.

When it’s time for you to hit the stage, you do your best to stick to the script you’ve seen so many other performers before you follow.

The problem is God didn’t create you to stick to a script. Instead we are called on to improvise.

From the first line to the finale you have to be on your game.

This living from curtain to curtain can be terrifying for even the most gifted performers.

Even a man with a magnificently spontaneous mind like Robin Williams felt stage fright.

He admitted as much during his appearance on “Inside The Actors Studio”.  When host James Lipton asks him if he ever felt any trepidation about hitting the stage, Robin answers, “Every night.”

Of course, his formula for overcoming stage fright is what made Robin Williams such a beloved entertainer for so man years. (Warning: the clip has some mild adult language in it.)

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above)

There’s barely time to breath as Robin leaps from joke to joke and bit to bit, coming up with characters and premises on the fly.

Some of them are hilarious. Some of them are weird. Some of them really aren’t that funny.

But Robin Williams just keeps moving forward, no matter what the reaction is.

Later in the interview he talks about how he maintains this manic energy on stage.

Robin’s answer was that he never lets himself think “That’s stupid” or “That’s a bad idea” or “That’s not funny” when an idea pops into his head.

Instead, he always just went for the joke and let the audience decide. Whether the jokes landed or not didn’t matter. The only important thing was to keep trying.

I think this is how we should approach the performance of our life. I think instead of thinking we have to follow a strict script God wants us to follow the lead of our imagination without fear.

That’s not to say you should follow every idea which pops into your head. As you grow as a performer, you’ll begin to discern the types of ideas which should never be spoken into existence.

Of course you’ll still follow the evil trains of thought some nights. Stage Fright will still creep in from the wings. The fear of failing before an audience suffocates so many dreams.

But we are all more capable performers than we give ourselves credit for. There are extraordinary and unique performances inside each of us just waiting to be unleashed upon the world which are blocked by Stage Fright everyday.

When the curtain rises on your life, don’t listen to the voices which say, “That’s stupid”.

You are performer who is gifted like no one else in this world. Leave everything you have on the stage as you live from curtain to curtain. Think not of what the audience will think. For ultimately you are performing for an audience of One.

Perform wildly. Try new ideas. Refuse to rest on your successes or dwell on your defeats.

God has season tickets for your life. Be confident to follow the particular peculiarities of your mind without fear knowing that He will show up in the front row night after night ready to cheer you on.

Do you ever feel Stage Fright? How do you overcome it? And how will you remember the incredible legacy of Robin Williams?

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One thought on “How To Overcome Stage Fright

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