Conquer Stage Fright...Whether it is David Blaine in America or Leodini in the Philippines, a universal torment for all magicians is stage fright and it is the one hurdle which they must cross if professional success and fame are to be accomplished.
It is a dream of every magician to enthral their audience with their tricks and deliver a performance which would linger in their memories for a long time to come.
While the will to succeed is foremost, something that a magician is not aware of or refuses to acknowledge is stage fright and the worst part is that this irrational fear which is buried in the subconscious suddenly rises and grasps the performer in a cold grip.
Not just magicians but stage performers all over the world suffer from bouts of stage fright and the symptoms manifested are more or less the same –
sweating, shaking hands, wobbly legs, butterflies in the stomach, loud thumping of the heart, unfocused mind and an all pervading feeling of nausea.
Once under the spell of stage fright just before the start of the show magicians begin to dread the reaction of their audience – would they be hostile, derisive or probably laugh at them for making a fool of themselves?
In such a situation any human being would want to forgo their chance to perform so obviously why blame a magician if they think that way too?
A better way of dealing with the situation would be to acknowledge the fear instead of pushing it into the background and try to understand it. You can conquer stage fright..
The famous magician Leodini of the Philippines is of the opinion that because a magician is a sole performer and the success of the show rests solely on his shoulders, he is more susceptible to stage jitters as compared to other performers.
His American counterpart David Blaine believes that success would indeed remain an elusive dream unless a magician understands the four constituents of stage fright namely anticipation, avoidance, excessive anxiety and appraisal.
More importantly, stage fright is nothing to be ashamed of as even the best of magicians like Harry Houdini, Lance Burton and Rocco Silano have all been through the same grind and if they could conquer it then why not the others?
For magicians to earn accolades in their art, it is imperative to conquer stage fright and convert the negative fear into confidence.
Eventually it can be harnessed to produce charisma, the most important requisite in any magician’s arsenal. So how can stage fright be conquered?
Some of the time tested methods which have been successfully used by many great magicians to effectively conquer stage fright are discussed as follows –
- Practice makes perfect and since a magician is also a human being, it is imperative for them to practice their art to the point that they are confident of being able to carry it off even in their seep.
Going through the entire magical routine beginning from entry and proceeding on to sleights, shuffles, flourishes and many individual tricks and finally ending with a grand finale time and again helps to gain mastery which in turn leads to confidence.
Therefore the age old advice of practice, practice and more practice is indeed an important ingredient for keeping the nerves calm.
- Preparing for the show in advance is a must as this would ensure that all the essential paraphernalia has been put into its proper place wherein it can be revealed on reaching out.
This is also an opportunity to check on the functionality of the equipment so that the walk up the stage for the performance is with surety that none of the gimmicks will fail midway.
- Equally important is the physical and mental preparation and since this varies as per the individual, it is up to the magician to decide which activity would calm them down the most.
Some suggestions which are effective at this crucial juncture entail taking a walk, drinking a glass of water, practicing deep breathing and limbering exercises and making use of visualization techniques.
- One of the effective ways of conquering stage fright is the ‘look good, feel good’ factor coupled with a strong opening act.
While the former is a definite confidence booster the latter should be a trick at which the magician is adept so that they can perform it with aplomb and draw hearty applause in return.
One the audience is impressed stage fright seems nothing more than an elusive dream.
- Staying focused is very important for a magician as these help to keep the panic and anxiety at bay.
They might as well bear it in mind that the audience is not aware of the error when it occurs so the best way to recover is to pretend as if nothing has happened and continue to have fun.
It is also advisable to refrain from imbibing any drugs, alcohol or medicines as these tend to slow down the reflexes and may also cause the hands to shake, which for a magician is akin to a death knell. Use these tips to conquer stage frigh.