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Nerves

When you get ready to go onstage for a performance, if you are normal, you will get nervous. Whether you are about to do a live show for an audience or you are doing a scene for a camera, you will feel a certain amount of "butterflies" in your stomach. That is actually a good thing and there is no need to fight it. It is sometimes described as "Why can't we just call this whole thing off?" You might feel your knees begin to shake or you won't know what you should do with your hands.

If we did not care how well we were going to entertain the audience or the director, we probably would go onstage and say our lines and not worry too much if it was any good. The fact that we care is what makes us try harder. It is not like when we talk to our friends and neighbors. We don't have a script for everyday conversation. There is no specific line to remember in our routine conversations. The use of our memory and the desire to please can make us feel some extra pressure. That makes us nervous.

A strange thing happens when we walk onto the stage. Ask any actor or singer or performer of any kind about what the nervousness becomes once we start our act. The nerves become energy. The energy makes us feel a little braver just seconds after we begin performing. What was a "scared stiff" feeling just a minute ago becomes a brave confidence after we get past our opening line. Even if we fall down on our face as we walk onstage, we become powerfully brave as the laughter begins and we pull ourselves back up and say whatever is on our mind. "This stage has termites." Whatever happens becomes the show for a ready audience.

You will be great if you just go ahead. Don't ever chicken out. Never use alcohol or drugs that change your true personality. Your performance will be excellent if you just go out there and do something. If you forget the lines, say something else. It is OK to be nervous, but don't worry about it. Nervousness and worrying are two different things. It is alright if your heart pounds and your knees clank together and your hands shake a little. All of that goes away after you begin what you are doing as your performance.

If you are doing something you do not believe in, you might be uncomfortable for the entire performance, but you will get through it. When you are doing something you really like, singing a favorite song or acting in a funny play, you will get a feeling of happiness that will remain after your performance has ended. You will need some time to "come down" when your routine is over.

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Your Health

If you are sick and you cannot perform, you won't do a good show. You won't do any show. Your health is very important as you pursue your career. I won't keep saying "Don't use drugs or alcohol to enhance a performance." There are so many performers who have had tragic results with that approach. I will tell you some of the easier things that will enhance your onstage talent. Do not eat a lot before you go out to entertain an audience. Eat after the show.

Whatever you do regularly will affect how you feel. If you are a movie or TV actor you will need to adjust to early morning arrivals at work. If you become a musician or comic your day will begin after dark and go until the early hours. You will build your schedules around whatever becomes your workday. You can work late night hours and be very healthy. Many people have done it for years. Your health will depend on your habits.

If you study obituaries of performers who died young and those who achieved advanced age, you might get some ideas about what is wise to do and what is dangerous.

Have a healthy peer group. People around you will have some influence.

Don't get run over by a truck.

Avoid Stress

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