Probably one of the biggest hurdles new comedians face is overcoming stage fright.
I know because I had severe and visible stage fright when I first started in stand-up comedy.
The irony was that I was a teacher and had no issues at all standing before a group of new students. But that wasn’t the case when I hit the stand-up comedy stage in the beginning.
In a nutshell, stage fright stems from a connection made on a subconscious level that associates getting in front of an audience as a “danger” situation, not unlike being cornered by a wild animal.
This triggers the autonomic nervous system (also known as the fight or flight response), resulting in increased adrenalin flow, rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, and profuse sweating among other unfavorable symptoms.
The key to overcoming stage fright is to break the “danger” association on the subconscious level and replace it with a non-danger association.
Otherwise, the “danger” association with public speaking or getting on stage as a comedian tends to get reinforced, making it more difficult to get rid of. So, here’s what I did initially… Read the rest of this entry »