The moment before I go onstage is always the same: fluttering in my stomach, uncontrollable shaking in my feet, and in my chest the constant thump of IMPENDING DOOM. Even if I did 100 amazing shows in a row this still wouldn’t change.
Improvisers are trained to warm-up before shows. This is a chance for the team to connect with one another (at the very least make eye contact) and play a simple game that takes the mind off of being nervous by focusing energy. These games can be anything but usually consists of agreeing with a statement someone makes and heightening it:
Person A: Unicorns are my favorite animal
Person B: White-bellied, sparkling Unicorns are my favorite animal
Person C: White-bellied, sparkling Unicorns are my favorite animal to ride over cascading waterfalls
And so on…
With all these sparkles and waterfalls, you will have little time to think about what mistake you might make onstage. You might even notice that when you aren’t so focused on what’s ahead (the unknown) but rather positive reinforcement, you will forget the nervousness altogether!
Should you start to feel those pesky butterflies in the pit of your stomach, remember what makes you a strong candidate. Review what co-workers and clients have said about you in the past. Believe them. You are no galloping unicorn, but you are a star for sure.
It is challenging to feel at ease during auditions and job interviews but with a little positively focused prep-time, you can trick yourself into feeling calm! Man I love tricks!!!
And now I leave you with one of my favorite auditions of all time: Mr Show – The Audition.