#1 Saboteur of Auditions, Tryouts & Competitions

 

And How to Keep It from Sabotaging YOU!

FOR ALL MUSICIANS (& OTHER PERFORMERS)

Over the years, I've served as a judge for countless auditions, tryouts, competitions, student juries, and recitals, routinely making critical decisions about the future of young performers.

I’ve also prepared hundreds of performers for similar opportunities, including successful auditions for such shows as “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice.”

I’ve also had significant experience on the other side of the judge’s table. (My audition for the “Tonight Show” band is one of my most vivid memories.)

This deep background has taught me an important truth: It takes more than talent, skill, and preparation to do well at an audition, tryout, jury, or competition. This is true for all types of performers: musicians, actors, dancers, comedians, and more.

In fact, talent, skill, and preparation can become irrelevant if a performer is tripped up by the #1 menace that rears its ugly head at such moments.

I'm talking about stage fright.


Dr. David Lee Fish educator, performer, author
& stage fright authority

A Cruel Process

Auditioning is often a cruel process. The same goes for similar performance situations, like tryouts and competitions and the type of juries and recitals that music students face.

Most judges don’t mean for the process to be so heartless, but we wind up dashing the hopes and aspirations of many musicians, actors, and other performers all the same.

It's a matter of supply and demand. There are simply too few opportunities compared to the number of performers pursuing them. Auditions, tryouts, competitions, juries, and recitals are the common ways we decide who gets an opportunity and who doesn't, who moves ahead, and who's left behind.

As a performer, you usually get a few precious moments to prove yourself to a panel of judges in an environment that seems calculated to rattle you.


You Only Get One Shot

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again is a great adage. But the truth is that you often only get one chance at an opportunity—an audition for a top music school, a tryout for a plum acting role, competing to become part of a great dance company, impressing the booker at an important comedy club, performing your senior recital, or the like. You absolutely must stand and deliver.

Eminem put it perfectly in "Lose Yourself"

If you had One Shot or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?

Even when you get more than one shot, you can waste precious time waiting for an opportunity to roll around again if you don’t succeed the first time.

It's daunting, but there's a big secret behind all of it. Make that two secrets.


You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow This opportunity comes once in a lifetime (yo)Eminem

First Secret

If you've suffered from a bout of nerves during an audition, competition, or the like, then it comes as no big surprise that stage fright can cost you an important opportunity.

Even if you clear the bar, anxiety can still keep you from showing the judges your full talent. You wind up with the silver medal instead of the gold.

The first secret then isn't that stage fright can sabotage you. You already know that. The first secret is that stage fright afflicts almost all performers, especially in high-pressure settings like auditions and competitions.

When you sit on my side of the judge’s table, you know all too well how stage fright constantly hangs in the air from the very first performer of the day to the last.


Second Secret

There's a second secret about auditions, tryouts, juries, and competitions for all types of performers, and it's just as significant as the first.

Almost all successful musicians, actors, and other performers also get stage fright.

How is that possible? Performers who do well also get nervous? Yep.

You’d think they’d be the ones who are somehow immune to anxiety. But that's not the case.

Instead, they've figured out something fundamental about the nature of stage fright.


Jessica

Take the example of Jessica, a talented singer-songwriter who recently audition for acceptance into the popular music program I direct at Catawba College.

I like to have such prospective students try out in front of some type of audience. With Jessica, I had her sing for a class of current music students.

I couldn’t help but notice Jessica's fingers trembling when she first sat down at the piano.

That wasn’t surprising. After all, Jessica was playing in front of fellow performers she didn’t know for college acceptance and scholarship consideration. As such, the stakes were pretty high for her, and it was perfectly natural for Jessica to be nervous.


Flying Colors

I’ve seen such moments go two ways with anxious performers.

Too often, the audition is undermined by nerves, and I have to figure out how good the performer might have been if they weren’t tripped up by stage fright.

There was no need to do that with Jessica. After somewhat of a rough start, she sailed through her song and wowed both me and my students.

In discussing it with her afterward, Jessica said, “I’ve always gotten nervous in when I feel under pressure.”

So, what is it that performers like Jessica know about stage fright that keeps them from being sabotaged by the anxiety they experience?


Another Big Secret

One way another, musicians like Jessica and other performers who find their way beyond stage fright figure out something important about the nature of this menace.

They learn that it doesn't do any good to try to fight their anxiety.

Fighting stage fright is like trying to pull and tug to get out of the finger cuff toy many of us played with as kids.

It doesn't work. You just wind up even more stuck.


The Biggest Secret

Performers who find their way beyond stage fright also discover what does work in helping them do so.

One way or another, they somehow hit upon the Biggest Secret when it comes to stage fright. It's the one that allows them to get nervous yet still perform well.

It's the secret I also stumbled upon years ago and now teach to all of my students.


Acceptance is the Answer

As a young performer, I stumbled upon the biggest secret about stage fright, the one that holds the key to finding your way beyond it. I did so through the practice of Zen under a renowned Korean master.

The heart of Zen involves mindful acceptance of unwanted thoughts and emotions as the way beyond them.

And that's what almost all successful performers discover about stage fright—mindful acceptance is the way beyond it.

However, it often takes performers years of trail and error to figure out this fundamental secret. Even then, many don't clearly understand what they're doing.

Mindfulness

As you may know, mindfulness has taken on a life of its own in recent years as more and more people have discovered its simple, profound power.

But mindfulness is anything but a fad. It's age-old wisdom that is quickly gaining scientific validity in our own century.

In face, study after study has also firmly established the scientific legitimacy of mindfulness.


Learn the Secret in Just 5 Days!

Forget years of trial and error to discover the way beyond stage fright.

I've distilled the mindful answer to it into a straightforward, no-nonsense online course for all performers: musicians, actors, dancers, comedians, and more. It shows results in as little as five days. In fact, I guarantee it.

I've put all of my expertise into the Goodbye Butterflies 5-Day Stage Fright Solution. Here's what others are already saying.

It's the same approach I teach to the talented young performers who study with me at Catawba College. I'm now offering it all performers to help them find their own way beyond stage fright.


 

Check Your Email!

Over the next few weeks, I'll introduce you to the 5-Day Stage Fright Solution in a series of emails. The welcome message should already be waiting in your inbox. (If you don't see it, check your spam folder. You may have to white list me.)

As part of the email series, I'll provide you with some helpful tips about dealing with the anxiety you experience as a performer. You'll find the messages quite useful, but feel free to opt out any time.

I'd also love to hear from you about your personal experience with stage fright and to answer any questions you might have about it. So, feel free to hit me up at [email protected].

And, if you're itching to get started right away on finding your own way beyond stage fright, click on the How Bad is Your Stage Fright link below.


 

#1 Saboteur of Auditions, Tryouts & Competitions

 

And How to Keep It from Sabotaging YOU!

FOR ALL MUSICIANS (& OTHER PERFORMERS)

Over the years, I’ve served as a judge for countless auditions, tryouts, competitions, student juries, and recitals, routinely making critical decisions about the future of young performers.

I’ve also prepared hundreds of performers for similar opportunities, including successful auditions for such shows as “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice.”

I’ve also had significant experience on the other side of the judge’s table. (My audition for the “Tonight Show” band is one of my most vivid memories.)

This deep background has taught me an important truth: It takes more than talent, skill, and preparation to do well at an audition, tryout, jury, or competition. This is true for all types of performers: musicians, actors, dancers, comedians, and more.

In fact, talent, skill, and preparation can become irrelevant if a performer is tripped up by the #1 menace that rears its ugly head at such moments.

I’m talking about stage fright.


Dr. David Lee Fish
educator, performer, author
& stage fright authority

A Cruel Process

Auditioning is often a cruel process. The same goes for similar performance situations, like tryouts and competitions and the type of juries and recitals that music students face.

Most judges don’t mean for the process to be so heartless, but we wind up dashing the hopes and aspirations of many musicians, actors, and other performers all the same.

It’s a matter of supply and demand. There are simply too few opportunities compared to the number of performers pursuing them. Auditions, tryouts, competitions, juries, and recitals are the common ways we decide who gets an opportunity and who doesn’t, who moves ahead, and who’s left behind.

As a performer, you usually get a few precious moments to prove yourself to a panel of judges in an environment that seems calculated to rattle you.


You Only Get One Shot

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again is a great adage. But the truth is that you often only get one chance at an opportunity—an audition for a top music school, a tryout for a plum acting role, competing to become part of a great dance company, impressing the booker at an important comedy club, performing your senior recital, or the like. You absolutely must stand and deliver.

Eminem put it perfectly in “Lose Yourself”

If you had One Shot or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?

Even when you get more than one shot, you can waste precious time waiting for an opportunity to roll around again if you don’t succeed the first time.

It’s daunting, but there’s a big secret behind all of it. Make that two secrets.


You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime (yo)Eminem