L asked in Arts & HumanitiesTheater & Acting · 7 years ago

I'm completely terrified of acting on stage....please read!!!!?

I'm going to go on a long rant so please bear with me....

From as long as I could remember, I wanted to do acting/theatre. I never had any experience but I always felt that I had the ability to do it. I'm very outgoing and full of personality so for some reason I assumed that it would be a fun thing to do. I've been going to a performing arts high school since 9th grade, ( now in 10th ) and in the theatre academy. For some crazy reason, my previous theatre intro teacher placed me into an Honors intermediate theatre class which is basically where all the crazy talented students go. That class usually does competitions/ festivals and stuff. I talked to my old teacher about why I was placed in there, because it didn't make sense that almost everyone from 9th grade didn't get in. ( I was also really bad last year ) and he told me that he thought I had the potential to do great & that this class would push me. I tried so hard to get out of that class because I'm completely terrified of acting, but my councilor said its impossible because all the regular classes are full. I don't know why, maybe its just the feeling of being vulnerable? All these eyes are watching me and I have to pretend I don't even notice it. It's difficult for me to explain, but just the thought of performing on stage makes me physically sick. I cry all the time at home about it. Normally I don't care this much about something and I don't know why I feel this way but I hate it!!!! I'm starting to feel like I hate acting but I don't? I'm really confused. Sometimes I want to switch out of the academy but then I know I'm going to regret it? I'm not like one of those people who say they're nervous but don't make it obvious. Because whenever I'm on stage I turn bright red and I shake, yet I keep performing. Obviously the audience loses focus on the character and pays attention to me being scared. Everyone is so intimidating and I don't know how to deal with it. No one else in my class acts the same and I feel like crap. Why am I so different? Why do I care so much about what people think of me? I know that if this was someone else telling me this, I'd tell them to just do it. Be the character not yourself. People don't even think of you half as much as you think. I know that when I watch people I don't think about every little detail, but for some reason I can't tell myself that.

I'm letting this bother me so much that I'm beginning to hate the thought of going to school. I have to perform two contrasting monologues on Monday and I don't know what to do.

I'm so sorry. I just really need someone to talk to. I need advice....someone to set me straight. I'm killing myself over this it's SO STUPID.

Thank you so much for reading. I love you....

4 Answers

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  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Ok so after reading this, all I should suggest to you is to calm down :) Take a breather and remind yourself acting is what you like doing, and acting is what you shall do. If your teacher put you in that class, he obviously have faith in you:) I know exactly how you feel about all the eyes watching you, and you being afraid to fail or mess up. I'm a horseback rider, and we are in some ways the same. The people who are at my barn are really judgmental and think your a failure if you knock a rail. Think of that situation, then think of yours. You get on stage, and think all the negative things, but you should be thinking the positive. I know I know easier to read then to do, but you can do it! You attack that stage on Monday, and just like I've learned from all the critiques at my barn, is to ignore it, and remind yourself "I'm doing what i love, no one can make me upset."

    Keep your head up!!

    (I know this was a little sappy, but oh we'll)

    Good luck Monday! Remember the motto ^^^^

    Source(s): Me, Myself, and I
  • 7 years ago

    I started theatre class last year (9th grade) and I was- well, am- one of the most shy people ever. Last year when i would get on stage or read poetry in the classroom or anything mt voice would get super shaky and I'd start sweating and everyone could see it which made it even worse. Once I read an Edgar Allan Poe poem in front of my class and I wad shaking horribly and my voice was wavering and my face started doing this weird stitching thing. It was horrible.

    I don't know why, but I'm taking theatre 2 this year (10th grade.) Today was my first day of class and we had a very short poem we had to act out with a group. Nobody knew the people in their groups. With mine, I decided that I was just going to do my best and not care if I looked stupid. I had 3 lines to read while also doing the choreography my group came up with. My voice was a little shaky but my teacher said I improved so much from last year.

    She also explained stage fright. Stage fright is a physical thing. It's basically drowning on dry land. You think about it too much and you start to panic. Your body needs more air and you're not giving it that so naturally you feel sick. When you're on stage be sure to breathe, just focus on that.

    I know I rambled a lot and probably didn't help much, but I tried :)

  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    The other answers are great - read them - several times!

    I've heard that several really top actor get so nervous before going out on stage that they actually put a bucket next to the stage so they can puke in it!

    But most actors are quite shy - all the ones I know (professionals) are. You'll get used to it, and should find that you can deal with it.

    Also, try to remember that they wouldn't have put you in this class unless they really thought that you could do it - they have confidence in you - you need to have the same confidence in yourself.

    This also might help.

    When people get nervous they forget to breathe normally, so less blood and oxygen gets to the brain. When that happens you feel physically sick and your body does all sorts of unpleasant things.

    When you start to tense up, lower your shoulders, then breathe in slowly and deeply, through your nose, to the count of 4, then out, through your mouth, to the count of 4. Like IN, 2, 3, 4, and OUT, 2, 3, 4 ...and so on.

    Keep going for several minutes.

    Think of nothing at all but your breathing.

    And then smile. I know that sounds stupid, but the act of smiling makes you feel much more relaxed.

    Practise doing this now - over and over again.

    After a while it will come as second nature - the moment you start to feel yourself getting stressed think 'breathing', find a quiet spot to sit down, and go through the exercise for at least 5 minutes.

    Honestly - loads of professional actors use this method and it works.

    Good luck!

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Personally, I've never had that problem, I just get up in front of people and do whatever because I care what they think. Just forget the audience is there and focus on the character that you are supposed to be, that's all that matter. Don't care that people are watching you, they don't matter, all that matters is your character and how that character is supposed to be feeling and acting at that moment. try to avoid looking at the audience, look past them instead. Don't really know what else to say. Hope this helped

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