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THE CARAVAN

 

January/February 2002 Issue, Vol. 18, #4

 

THE FEAR FACTOR

by Bert Balladine

Recently I was invited to watch a show in which some of my friends and/or former students participated. Since I arrived early, I had the opportunity to sit in their dressing room and give them some pep talks. It should have surprised me that some of the good and seasoned dancers still fee fear and apprehension before a show - BUT - I have to admit that I share that with them. The reason, of course, is that most of us do not perform often enough and each time we do we have to go through the routine of psyching ourselves up. Have I always been this way? Earlier in my career when I would do several shows in one evening for months on end I did not feel the slightest apprehension, except, perhaps, when a person important to me was in the audience and I wanted to show off; otherwise it was just a pleasant but repetitious duty.

 "Stage fright" can be almost paralyzing to some and I have consoled and encouraged and literally pushed some of my friends on stage who later became "biggies" in our business. So what is one to do about "stage fright"? How can one overcome it? Should one try? Would there be a loss of performance quality if you didn't feel any tingle of uneasiness and insecurity before going on? I think so. Having your nerves on edge can turn on all of your senses and get your adrenalin pumping. Fear can open your eyes wider and motivates you to exaggerate your smile. All of this is then projected to the audience as stage presence.

Don't try to get rid of your fear; recycle it as charisma.

 

 

Copyright 2002 - The Caravan Magazine- All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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