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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Amerena

Stage Fright: What Are We So Afraid Of?

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Center stage. Spotlight clicks on. All eyes on you. Legs tremble beneath you, struggling to hold your own weight. Your heart feels like it’s about to burst and the stomach acid begins to rise from the pit of your empty stomach. The crowd begins to scream your name, but the words won’t leave your mouth. Hundreds of hours of rehearsal time; you know your songs by heart. You freeze. What are you afraid of? What’s holding you back from achieving full potential?

I myself have been a victim of stage fright more times than I can remember. I know that panicked feeling the minute before a performance. We all go through it one time or another. For some it’s easy to get past. Its adrenaline coursing through your veins before the lights come up. But for others, it’s not so simple. For instance, Barbra Streisand fought with an anxiety disorder that became so severe that it prevented her from singing in public. After forgetting the words to her songs during a performance in 1967, she took a break from performing and battled her stage fright for her comeback tour in 1994. She spent years away from something she loved to do so much, because it terrified her just the same.

Are we afraid of messing up? Do we not have the confidence in our own talents to step into the limelight? Or is there a bigger phobia we’ve been hiding for years? All of these could be true, it depends on the individual, and the list of reasons why is endless. But the biggest question of all is why do we put ourselves through it? The answer is simple. We love performing. We live for it. It’s in our DNA. We’re musicians, dancers, models, singers; and the second the first note plays, that fear somehow starts to fade away. You see, this is what we were meant to do, entertain an audience that hangs on our every word. We were born for this. We were born to perform.

Copyright © 2014 by Danielle Cooper, published by tBubble

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