Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Get with the program

I wanted to share this cool program from a young artist at Theisen Middle School in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Full-color, computer-generated graphics can be very eye-catching, but sometimes hand-drawn pictures are the best. Great job!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Overcoming stage fright

I recently received an email from a young man who'll be appearing as Frankie in his school's production of Million Dollar Meatballs. The show opens in two days and he was feeling a bit nervous. Did I have any advice for him?

Unfortunately, he contacted me through my bio page on the Pioneer Drama Service website and when I tried to reply to the email address he entered, it was rejected by his school's server.

I don't want him to think I'm ignoring him, so I thought I'd reply here. After all, there must be a lot of students out there who are struggling with stage fright.

To be honest, I haven't done a lot of acting, but I have done a fair amount of public speaking and the stage fright with that can be just as bad. Here are some things I did to overcome that stage fright:

1) Do some deep breathing and stretching exercises before you go on stage. This will help you relax.

2) After you're done, stand tall and maintain a confident posture. It's hard to feel nervous when you look like you're ready to conquer the world. You might even try out a superhero stance, which has been shown to decrease feelings of stress and increase feelings of power. Just remember: it's Superman, not Ant-Man.

3) Get your mind off the performance. Read something. Talk to your friends. Play a game. This helps put things in perspective, reminding you that there's a lot more to life than this one show.

4) Remind yourself that the audience is on your side. They're rooting for you to do well. But they're also very forgiving when things go wrong.

5) Realize that stage fright usually only happens before the show. Once you get on stage in front of an audience and start bringing your character to life, you'll forget all about being nervous.

I hope this helps!

If you ever have problems contacting me through the Pioneer Drama Service website or other means, please feel free to email me directly at todd.wallinger@gmail.com.

I promise you'll get a reply.