HOW TO CALM AUDITION NERVES
RELEASING TENSION IN YOUR BODY AND JAW
You want to start by releasing your jaw and massaging all of the muscles along your jawline and base of your tongue - we carry so much tension and nervous energy here that it affects our voice.
For body tension, try tensing every part of your body as much as you can for 30 seconds and then release - you should be able to feel the release of tension leaving your body.
If you carry a lot of tension in your shoulders - I got the helpful tip of putting your arms on a door frame and pulling so that your chest is out and your arms are back (be careful here and if it hurts don't do it) but it opens up your chest and helps to relieve tension in your shoulders.
CENTERING YOUR BODY
Stand feet hip-width apart and really try to push your feet into the ground - then take a moment to bring your breathing exercises in.
If you have space to come to the floor - Erika Shannon has a great 2 minute video explaining a great exercise to come to centre in your body - if you aren't able to do the plank position she mentions in her video - go to a spine roll instead.
Jane Boston (Principal Lecturer, Course Leader MA/MFA Voice Studies Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Head of The International Network for Voice) explains everything you need to do to calm your nerves through breathing on this video here. Its 2 minutes, gets straight to the point and is very practical - I would personally listen to this whilst you’re in the waiting room.
Top sports psychologists swear by this technique - visualise yourself performing this monologue in an incredible theatre or on the stage of the school you want to be at and really revel in that moment. It may sound over the top, but visualising yourself doing something helps you to fake the confidence in your psyche that you need to decrease nervous energy. Clever, huh?
It's really easy to get into a negative headspace when nerves creak in - especially when the stakes are high, so whilst you’re releasing tension and breathing in the waiting room (headphones IN even if you’re not listening to music it will allow you to channel out the background noise and focus on you) start repeating some positive mantras so that you don’t start to doubt yourself:
- I’m here, I know my work, I trust my work, and all of that work will carry me through this
- This is what I want to do, I’m just going to go in there and simply perform
- I give myself permission to be human, to make a mistake, I’m not here to be perfect, I’m here to share my work
- It doesn't matter how good the person next to me is, I am good too, I have my own truth, my own experiences and my own uniqueness to offer. There is enough space for both of us to be here and both to do well
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