Tips To Help Beginning Actors Overcome Stage Fright

Are you overcome with anxiety at auditions?

You may have stage fright. Stage fright is a normal response for beginner and experienced actors and can be overcome .

Stage fright is a common hurdle, even for the most accomplished professionals. It’s an emotional response to the excitement and challenge of performing.

While you may ham it up around your friends and family, taking that performance to a stage where those watching are strangers who decide if you get the job, may often times gives actors and performers the jitters.  The thing to remember is that stage fright is like many other fears we overcome through our lives. It is rooted in things we have all dealt with since we were young… judgment and rejection.

Stage fright brings back the fears of childhood when  a teacher had you stand up in front of the class and read your book report that you wrote.

Stage fright takes you back to those feelings of insecurity and judgment in front of people you want to impress.  The feelings many thought were far behind them, somehow come back to shake your nerves once again.

The good news is that you are no longer a child and hopefully have found ways to manage those fears. Always remember, there is actually nothing to fear.


When it comes to auditions, the worst anyone can ever say to you is NO…which is the exact same position you begin with having not yet landed the gig.

Whether you chicken out or audition for the role and get rejected… you end up in exactly the same position, which is not landing the acting gig you wanted.

If you keep in mind that you have nothing to lose no matter what happens, you will be one step closer to overcoming your fears and anxiety.

The first few auditions will be your toughest but that anxiety will eventually decrease.

Acting is a competitive business. There will be many disappointments when you don’t get the call back you hoped for. That is the nature of the business and should not be taken as a judgment on your performance.

Actors and performers are used to disappointments.  Even for seasoned actors with many credits, it may take many auditions before they actually get cast in a role.  There are always many more actors than roles which means it will take many auditions in order to land a gig. It is not uncommon for actors to audition dozens of times for different projects until they finally land one. You should not allow that to add to your anxiety. Rejection is part of the business.


Let’s Dive into stage fright and find out where those butterflies in your stomach are coming from.

Stage fright, also known as performance anxiety, is a common phenomenon that affects individuals in various performance-related situations, including acting, public speaking, singing, or presenting. Several factors contribute to why people experience stage fright:

  1. Fear of Judgment: One of the most common reasons for stage fright is the fear of being judged or evaluated by an audience. The anticipation of criticism or negative reactions can create anxiety.
  2. Fear of Failure: Many individuals fear making mistakes or “messing up” in front of an audience. The pressure to perform flawlessly can lead to anxiety.
  3. Self-Doubt: A lack of self-confidence in one’s abilities can contribute to stage fright. Individuals may doubt their preparedness or their talent.
  4. High Stakes: When the outcome of a performance has significant consequences, such as a career-defining audition or a critical presentation, the pressure intensifies, leading to anxiety.
  5. Physical Symptoms: The physical sensations of stage fright, such as sweating, shaking, or a racing heart, can be uncomfortable and create a feedback loop of anxiety.
  6. Fear of Embarrassment: The prospect of making a mistake or appearing foolish in front of an audience can be daunting and contribute to stage fright.
  7. Perceived Lack of Control: Feeling out of control, especially in unpredictable situations, can increase anxiety. A lack of control over the audience’s reactions or external factors can be overwhelming.
  8. Past Negative Experiences: Previous negative experiences on stage can lead to anticipatory anxiety. If someone has experienced failure or humiliation in the past, they may carry that fear into future performances.
  9. Public Speaking Skills: Lack of experience or training in public speaking or performance can exacerbate stage fright.
  10. Insecurity: Insecurity about one’s appearance, voice, or other personal attributes can amplify anxiety, especially when combined with the need to be in the spotlight.

It’s important to note that stage fright is a natural response to the stress and pressure of performing. It affects individuals regardless of their level of experience or expertise. However, with practice, exposure, and the development of coping strategies, many people can learn to manage and even overcome stage fright.


Conquering the Spotlight: Overcoming Stage Fright –  Here are 12 tips to help you overcome your fears of the stage:

By applying these strategies, you can gradually reduce the impact of stage fright and, in time, turn it into a source of energy and motivation to excel in your chosen field. Remember that the spotlight is an opportunity, not a threat, and you have the power to shine in it.

1. Preparation is Key: The more you prepare, the more confident you’ll feel. Rehearse your lines, lines of your song, or presentation until you know them inside and out. The familiarity will boost your confidence.

2. Understand Your Fear: It’s essential to recognize that stage fright is a natural response. It often arises from a fear of judgment or failure. Acknowledging your fear is the first step to overcoming it.

3. Visualization: Use visualization techniques to imagine yourself performing successfully. Picture the audience’s positive reactions and your own confidence. Visualization can be a powerful tool to calm nerves.

4. Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing exercises can help reduce anxiety. Take slow, deep breaths before taking the stage to calm your nervous system and steady your heart rate.

5. Physical Exercise: Regular physical activity can help reduce anxiety overall. Engaging in exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood elevators.

6. Focus on the Material: Redirect your attention from your anxiety to your performance material. Concentrate on the words you need to say, the notes you need to hit, or the content of your presentation. Let the material drive your performance.

7. Gradual Exposure: If stage fright is a persistent challenge, start with small, less intimidating performances. Gradually work your way up to more significant stages, allowing yourself to grow accustomed to the pressure.

8. Positive Self-talk: Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Challenge your inner critic with self-assured statements like, “I am prepared, and I can do this.”

9. Embrace Mistakes: Understand that mistakes happen, even to the most experienced performers. It’s how you recover from them that counts. Don’t let a stumble derail your entire performance.

10. Professional Help: If stage fright significantly hinders your performance or well-being, consider seeking help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in anxiety or performance-related issues.

11. Experience Matters: The more you perform, the better you’ll become at managing stage fright. Each performance builds resilience and confidence.

12. Support System: Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, mentors, and fellow performers who understand and can offer encouragement.

The best way to get past the stage fright is by always being prepared.  Being prepared does wonders for increasing your confidence. That confidence comes out in your performance and can go a very long way in relieving those butterflies in your stomach.