Experiences of being on stage

Experiences of being on stage can be both a very exciting or a very stressful experience, especially if you suffer from Stage fright or performance anxiety.

Susan asks Andy, a somewhat seasoned performer, and Chris who is just staring out, about their experiences of being on stage.

Stage fright or performance anxiety is the anxiety, fear, or persistent phobia which may be aroused in an individual by the requirement to perform in front of an audience, whether actually or potentially (for example, when performing before a camera).

In the context of public speaking, or performing on stage, this may precede or accompany participation in any activity involving public self-presentation.

In some cases stage fright may be a part of a larger pattern of social phobia (social anxiety disorder), but many people experience stage fright without any wider problems.

Quite often, stage fright arises in a mere anticipation of a performance, often a long time ahead.

It has numerous manifestations: stuttering, tachycardia, tremor in the hands and legs, sweaty hands, facial nerve tics, dry mouth, and dizziness.

Stage fright can occur in people of all experiences and backgrounds, from those who are completely new to being in front of an audience to those who have done so for years.

Stage fright may, for example, have a negative impact on the individual’s performance, such that it affects their confidence during job interviews, being on stage or during presentations.

It affects actors, comedians, musicians, and politicians. Many people with no other problems in communication can experience stage fright, but some people with chronic stage fright also have social anxiety or social phobia which are chronic feelings of high anxiety in any social situation. Stage fright can also be seen in other situations, like stand up projects and class speeches.


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