When you’re on stage singing, you can have a lot of information coming at you. Bright Lights. Blurry Faces. Smoke Machines. A loud band or orchestra. Other performers on stage with you. Moving props. Each of us is unique in how we process this stimuli, and it is important as a singer and performer to be able to focus on certain things and not others while we’re up there.
What are some things we need to aware of on stage?
Well, once we’ve practiced our vocals and interpretation to the point of mastery, at the very least we have support, breath, stamina, posture, memory, and portraying the story to think about. For some of us singers, there may also be spoken lines and choreography to rock.
To do all this effectively as a singer and performer, we need to be in a certain state. When we are, we have access to awareness, confidence and joy, which allow for the audience to feel, and to connect deeply with our music.
Ask yourself these four questions before you step onto that stage:
- Am I able to take a deep breath? (Exhaling at least on a 4-6 count)
- Can I be aware of my body, noticing how it feels?
- Do I feel grounded and able to focus on one thing?
- Am I also energized?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions, you are ready to get out there.
If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, you may like to take a minute with one or more exercise below to take you to an optimal state for your best performance.
Some Fit for the StageTM approved hacks to optimize your singing state:
If you’re hyper-energized/anxious or unable to take a deep breath before you get on stage, reduce overstimulation and practice singular focus with one or more of these:
- Do a body roll. From standing, hang down from the waist like a rag doll. Inhale at the bottom, and as you sllllowly roll up, stacking the spine, with head coming up last, exhale with the movement. Perform three times.
- Sitting upright, close your eyes and do a meditative body scan from head to toe to light up your awareness of your body, and summon that grounded presence.
- Take one minute to sift through each of your senses (sight, sound, touch, smell) one by one, and see what you can notice with each. You may like to close your eyes when you’re not using sight.
If you’re feeling bored or tired, get in the zone with one or both of these:
- Practice visualizing your ideal performance. Imagine the audience participating with joy and excitement. Imagine YOU in full immersion, sharing your talents. What would make it feel wonderful and impact the audience immensely? Notice the details. What do you SEE? Smiling faces? What do you HEAR? Cheers and laughter? What do you FEEL? Energy pulsing through your veins? Have fun with it.
- Move your body in a way that is silly, fun and playful for you. Bust out a ridiculous sexy dance for a few bars. Something that loosens you up in body and spirit. Something that makes you laugh. Watch the tension fly away. And watch those stage hands thank you for the pre-show…
What are some of your backstage ‘get into the zone’ hacks? Love to hear them.