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INSIDE MUSIC: Overcome Stage Fright
Without Drugs

By Rosemary Conte

originally published: 08/25/2018

INSIDE MUSIC: Overcome Stage Fright Without DrugsMany great performers of the theater and music have discussed being been plagued by stage fright --  also known as performance anxiety. Sir Laurence Olivier was so terrified of going on stage that he would hide under a table in the wings.

Performers aren’t the only people who experience the symptoms that include sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, butterflies in the stomach, shaky hands and legs and dry mouth.  Some people grow paralyzed by fear when having to take a test …or when they must speak before colleagues at a business meeting.  The symptoms derive from the fight or flight response to fear – adrenaline overload. Fear overload.

A physician might prescribe a beta blocker (heart medicine) which, like all drugs, may help one symptom while it causes another. And drugs can be so sedating that they dull thinking and impede a good performance. Dry mouth and throat are damaging for a vocal performer.

Perhaps you’ve run into classic advice like, “imagine that your audience is naked.”  I guess that is supposed to alter the look of terror on your face and make you relax.  I’ve never known it to work.  Something that does work – against you – is the fearful self-talk that accompanies all anxiety.  Here, as I often do in my writing, I invoke a universal law:  like attracts like.

The more you allow fearful thoughts, the more you fear. One fearful thought begets another, e.g., what if I forget what to say; what if people don’t find me credible; what if they don’t like me, etc. will reinforce the thought and accompanying bad feeling.  Only you can control your thoughts, and control your thoughts you must. 

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Public speaking organizations like Toastmasters clubs give members experience in public speaking --  and there’s nothing like experience for growing a person’s confidence. However, in our culture where everyone is in a hurry and instant gratification the goal, HYPNOSIS is the way to go!

I speak from more than 25 years as a clinical hypnotist. Hypnotherapy is one part art – one part science. It offers something drugs and Toastmasters does not, and that is discovery of the source of the fright, and that insight becomes the healing force.

INSIDE MUSIC: Overcome Stage Fright Without Drugs

Every problem has a source. And as Albert Einstein said, you can’t heal the problem at the same level at which it was created.  Once the problem is experienced at the conscious level, our normal state of mind, the feelings are “recorded”  in the deeper part of the mind -- the unconscious, sometimes referred to as the subconscious mind. The experiences we have are the basis of beliefs we form. And our beliefs determine our  reaction and response  to everything. 

Via hypnosis, one can enter the subconscious storehouse of fears and traumatic events and find the source of the first time feeling fear, humiliation, and other negative responses. Frequently, such feelings are found to originate in childhood. Once examined from an adult perspective and reframed in hypnotherapy, the fear disappears, and the change that takes place in the subconscious can be reinforced with post-hypnotic positive suggestions for permanency.

Hypnosis is a common, natural state that you and I experience many times in a day, when our conscious thoughts wander off what’s in front of us, and at that point, our body and mind are relaxed and the subconscious mind becomes present.  It happens when you’re driving…and discover you’ve missed your exit…(you were in temporary hypnosis induced by the boredom of driving).  Also within two or three minutes of watching a TV show that captures  your attention, your brainwaves change and you are in an “altered state of consciousness” –  hypnosis, a highly suggestible state. And that is when the carefully timed commercials appear to convince us to buy stuff!  

Hypnosis can be used clandestinely in business…and more ethically, by a hypnotherapist whose goal is to help someone heal of a physical, emotional or spiritual problem.  A Google search will reveal hundreds of problems hypnosis can treat.

Enjoy a calming three minutes I’ve recorded for you.  

INSIDE MUSIC: Overcome Stage Fright Without Drugs

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Alabama Brings 50th Anniversary Tour To Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
(ATLANTIC CITY, NJ) -- Country music Hall of Famers, Alabama, are celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a tour stopping at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena on Saturday, January 19 at 8:00pm.  
Celebration of the 90th Birthday Anniversary of Art Farmer
(NEWARK, NJ) -- On Wednesday, October 10th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, Rutgers-Newark hosts a Jazz Research Roundtable Presentation: Celebration of the 90th Birthday Anniversary of Art Farmer - A View into his 50 year Career in Jazz.  The presentation will take place in the Dana Room of the John Cotton Dana Library 4th Floor.  Admission is free.
State Theatre Presents Diana Krall: Turn Up the Quiet Tour
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Diana Krall live in concert as part of her Turn Up The Quiet World Tour on Friday, October 12 at 8:00pm. Tickets range from $43-$153.50.  This concert will feature songs from Diana Krall’s stunning new album, Turn Up The Quiet, out now on Verve Records as well as a mix of some fan favorites. 
Kean Stage Presents The Manhattan Transfer
(UNION, NJ) -- Going strong after more than 45 years, Grammy Award winner The Manhattan Transfer, with tenor vocals from Kean University alumnus Alan Paul '71, will captivate Kean Stage audiences with their distinctive four-part harmonies at Enlow Recital Hall on Sunday, September 30 at 3:00pm.
3rd Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- The North Jersey Indie Rock Festival returns to Jersey City on October 6. Presented by Mint 400 Records and Sniffling Indie Kids, the festival includes acts from those labels and Little Dickman Records, Rhyme and Reason Records, and State Champion Records.  The festival takes place at White Eagle Hall. Doors are at 4:00pm and the music starts at 4:30pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

An Experience to Remember: Choir! Choir! Choir! LIVE! at Ocean County College
Choir! Choir! Choir! is a Canadian musical duo that travels the world conducting live concert events where audience members learn original arrangements of pop music hits, practice them, and perform them live on the internet for the world to enjoy!
From the Ballpark to the Concert Stage: Bernie Williams LIVE! at The Grunin Center
Fans of sports and music are lining up outside Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Saturday, September 8, 2018 for a concert by four-time World Series Champion and Latin Grammy-Nominated guitarist/composer Bernie Williams and his All-Star Band!
“Here’s Lucie!” Lucie Arnaz LIVE! at the PNC Bank Arts Center
Even though the weather outside Holmdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center is cloudy with some light intermittent drizzle this Wednesday, September 12, 2018 afternoon, the venue’s stage is still shining brightly with talent thanks to a live performance by television, film, and stage actress/singer Lucie Arnaz!
Mike Aiken Talks About Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch At RVCC
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) -- Raritan Valley Community College presents Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22.  The three-day event will feature a number of different musical shows by Mike Aiken, as well as other solo artists and groups.  
Virtuoso Jazz Violinist Jean-Luc Ponty LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
It’s a warm but lovely Aug. 23, 2018 evening here in Newton, NJ. After enjoying some hand-dipped Cliff’s ice cream from the window at Hayek Market, we march up Spring Street looking forward to hearing some world-class jazz at one of the Garden State’s favorite concert venues, The Newton Theatre.

Event calendar
Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018


Cafe Tacvba with special guest Ruen Brothers – Niu Gueis Tour 2018 @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 8:00pm

Seuls en Scene French Theater Festival - "Gonzo Conference" @ Donald G. Drapkin Studio at Lewis Arts complex, Princeton - 8:00pm

Joan Baez @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Record Club: Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 7:30pm


West End Festival of the Arts- Children's Storytelling @ West End Arts Center, Long Branch - 4:00pm

View all events


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