Minnesota State’s Maverick Involvement Team hosted a discussion in the CSU Hearth Lounge Tuesday about conquering stage fright.
Led by Michelle Harvey, Vladimir Rovinsky, Nomin Senadheera, and Meba Zemen Haddis, students were encouraged to sit down and share personal experiences of stage fright as well as techniques to overcome it.
“I was lucky enough to not have stage fright as itself, I was a very shy child,” Rovinsky, associate professor of theater and dance. “So in everyday life experience, I would be very scared to talk to strangers. Even going to the store and ask a seller for something was terrifying to me. But everytime when I would perform, I usually did not have much problem. I mean, normal nervousness, excitement, right, but it never was like ‘Oh, I can’t speak.’”
When asked why overcoming stage fright was important, Rovinksy said, “We are communal creatures, right? We have to communicate. It’s this ability to communicate, ability to feel empathy to a person who you maybe even don’t know, right? That’s what humanity does best, so when this channel is not developed, you’re limiting yourself, you’re limiting your life, you’re limiting people around you.”
Numerous techniques to overcome stage fright were discussed, ranging from taking deep breaths, giving yourself a pep talk and rehearsing often. They even discussed techniques that celebrities such as Adele and the late Kobe Bryant use before going on stage.
“There are many techniques, and what’s interesting about techniques (is that) it’s not a math. Two plus two not equal four, then you’re talking about art and you’re talking about speaking or communication, right? It’s always…different things work differently for different people.”
“Breathe and technique, we talked about breathing, right? You need to focus yourself, concentrate your energy, breathe a little bit, right, that’s helping. The technique of knowing exactly what the first line, what’s the first thing you have to do? Because again, the first moment being in front of audience, that’s the scariest moment, that’s when you could lose it. So therefore if you’re coming on stage and you right away know exactly what you know you’re saying, it’s build up, spring forward to the rest of the speech, right. Um…take a breath, in front of the audience helps, right? Take the moment and look at them, acknowledge them, right? Take the moment and notice that you’re nervous, share it with the audience, right? That’s all great techniques, but they all work for different people differently.”
MIT will be hosting another workshop on the 17th in CSU 204 at 5 pm. These workshops are free and open to everyone.
Write to Ellie Meschke at email@example.com
Header Photo: “Conquer Your Stage Fright” was presented to discuss commanding a room, managing an audience, and presentation tips. (Alexis Darkow/The Reporter)