Page: 1


Horrible Audition Anxiety

buffyactsing Profile Photobuffyactsing Profile Photo
buffyactsing
Broadway Legend
joined:3/20/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/20/05
Horrible Audition Anxiety#1
Posted: 8/20/07 at 10:16pm
I had an audition this morning that as usual, went terribly wrong. I can't seem to sing well at all due to nerves. I was wondering if anyone had any advice for severe audition anxiety. Not the normal, regular nervous but the knees shaking over-vibrato-y loose control of your voice, wanna run away and hide kind. Has anyone ever experienced this and has anything ever helped? Does anyone know of any techniques/workshops for this? I actually have anxiety issues outside audition situations and auditions make it all the much worse. I know people say use breathing techniques and to be well prepared, but is there anything beyond that?

Thanks so much.
"This ocean runs more dark and deep than you may think you know...I'll be the fear of the fire at sea." -Marie Christine
supportivemom Profile Photosupportivemom Profile Photo
supportivemom
Broadway Legend
joined:5/23/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/23/07
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#2
Posted: 8/20/07 at 10:30pm
This sounds like social anxiety and performance anxiety. This is beyond the "normal" nervousness that most people experience. Yes, breathing exercises and biofeedback do help for some people but have you tried talking to a psychologist/phobia specialist? There are some cognitive behavior exercises that can be done and also some medication for anxiety. Some people do well with visualization exercises. The good thing is that you have recognized this problem and have a desire to change for the better. You have already taken the first step. Good luck!
Amneris Profile PhotoAmneris Profile Photo
Amneris
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/16/03
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#2
Posted: 8/20/07 at 10:34pm
I know exactly where you are coming from as I am sure many others here do as well. It is 100% normal to feel this way. But, I got over it by just going to audition after audition and making myself a points system and pretending it's only a game. I tell myself at the back of my mind that the people behind the table want me to work for them but, while I am auditioning, they do not matter and it's MY show. It usually helps. If you give yourself an acting choice or someone to sing to at the back of the theater or a spot on the wall, it really will help. Just get it out of your head that you are being judged. Have fun. That is the main thing. You cant be worried about how well it will go because then you are doomed before you even walk in the door. First off, loosen your knees. Find a stance you are grounded and comfortable in. Keep your chest high. Trust me..you will get better with time.
I myself tried Nerve medicines and I personally think it's a bunch of bull. They made me more nervous and tired before an audition.. I think the only thing that does work is the Herbal Yoga Tea for Stress and Nerves they sell in the health food store. It definately helps to calm me down. Now at auditions, I get little butterflies only because I am anxious to go in the room and perform.
Updated On: 8/20/07 at 10:34 PM
supportivemom Profile Photosupportivemom Profile Photo
supportivemom
Broadway Legend
joined:5/23/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/23/07
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#3
Posted: 8/20/07 at 10:42pm
Amneris- that is very good advice. Going from audition to audition is a form of desensitizing. The more you do something, the less it becomes worrisome to you. After a while, it becomes second nature. Also, if you can find places to perform- like nursing homes and children's hospitals, it will give you more experience and more confidence at auditions. You'll also be providing a great service to your community.
Amneris Profile PhotoAmneris Profile Photo
Amneris
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/16/03
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#4
Posted: 8/20/07 at 10:54pm
i agree with supportivemom . The greatest gift to a sick child is having someone to look up to with a dream. Or an elderly person who cant get out. Entertainment can make anyone happy. think of the positive in what seems like a scary situation.
Studmuffn520
Featured Actor
joined:11/8/06
Featured Actor
joined:
11/8/06
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#5
Posted: 8/20/07 at 11:22pm
im going to need all this advice. im going to audition for the musical at my school this year and i know my voice is going to go crazy and im gonna be so nervous. i hope this stuff works! lol but i plan on just doing alot of auditions until im comfortable
Blair
Broadway Star
joined:11/4/03
Broadway Star
joined:
11/4/03
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#6
Posted: 8/21/07 at 12:10am
Read Power Performance for Singers. I did a master class with Alma Thomas that pretty much changed my life. There are things in her philosophy that I don't necessarily agree with all the time, but it can never hurt to try and see what works for you.

I had the same problems as you, and probably the worst thing I was doing for myself was trying to calm myself down. Channel all that anxiety into performance energy. In my experience, the times the anxiety was the worst was when I would get so nervous that I would say "Okay, just stay calm and hit the notes!" I would forget to perform, and when that happened I would freak out even more because I was aware of every little problem going on with my voice and that only amplified the problems 110%. Don't worry about the notes! All of that is done in practice! Your only job now is to put on a good performance. If that is successful, then your voice will be fine! And it makes auditions way more fun.
Cruel_Sandwich
Broadway Legend
joined:6/30/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/30/05
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#7
Posted: 8/21/07 at 2:18am
I, too, had the same problem. To tell you the truth, you just have to sing more and more.
nate2 Profile Photonate2 Profile Photo
nate2
Featured Actor
joined:7/31/06
Featured Actor
joined:
7/31/06
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#8
Posted: 8/21/07 at 12:54pm
If it's a major major audition my hands and feet go numb lol.
PeaceFrog
Understudy
joined:8/6/06
Understudy
joined:
8/6/06
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#9
Posted: 8/21/07 at 1:20pm
Those inner judges are a lot tougher than any auditor you'll ever meet. You should read "A Soprano on Her Head: Right-Side-Up Reflections on Life and Other Performances" by Eloise Ristad. If I ever decide to teach, it will be required reading for all my students. An active meditation/mindfulness practice can be of great help as well. Helps quiet that little sports reporter constantly giving a play-by-play in your head ...
Amneris Profile PhotoAmneris Profile Photo
Amneris
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/16/03
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#10
Posted: 8/21/07 at 9:52pm
another amazing book that I read 2 times is AUDITIONING by Joanna Merlin. It's reqired reading at a lot of schools.
buffyactsing Profile Photobuffyactsing Profile Photo
buffyactsing
Broadway Legend
joined:3/20/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/20/05
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#11
Posted: 8/22/07 at 2:42am
Thanks supportivemom. I actually have been diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder which does make this really tough. I did have a therapist but that 30 minutes a week wasn't really helping. I do hope to get more help when I settle down in life. I've just been frustrated because in terms of performing, this only seem to be getting worse, but everyone is right, part of that is I haven't performed in over a year (due to nerves and then due to my work hours) and I'm back to square one. I guess I just have to get out there more. The weird thing is that I've done about 25-30 shows since I was 12 (now in my early 20's) and I've had my fair share of leading roles, but still unless I'm auditioning in front of people I've worked with before there is always that panic.
"This ocean runs more dark and deep than you may think you know...I'll be the fear of the fire at sea." -Marie Christine
Updated On: 8/22/07 at 02:42 AM
buffyactsing Profile Photobuffyactsing Profile Photo
buffyactsing
Broadway Legend
joined:3/20/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/20/05
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#12
Posted: 8/22/07 at 2:46am
Wow Amneris, that's awesome. I'll have to check out that tea. I was on meds that helped a little but then went off of them due to not having insurance (or a job at that time). I now have insurance but I'm not sure how long I'm staying at the job I have so I'm not sure if it's work getting back on. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one though. It's frustrating seeing all these friends of mine auditioning in NYC not really have anything beyond a few butterflies where I'm having a complete meltdown (and end up walking away embarassed praying that the casting person realized I was insanely nervous and that I don't really sound like Edith Piaf on Acid.)
"This ocean runs more dark and deep than you may think you know...I'll be the fear of the fire at sea." -Marie Christine
buffyactsing Profile Photobuffyactsing Profile Photo
buffyactsing
Broadway Legend
joined:3/20/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/20/05
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#13
Posted: 8/22/07 at 2:47am
Good for you, Studmuffn520. And break a leg:)
"This ocean runs more dark and deep than you may think you know...I'll be the fear of the fire at sea." -Marie Christine
supportivemom Profile Photosupportivemom Profile Photo
supportivemom
Broadway Legend
joined:5/23/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/23/07
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#14
Posted: 8/22/07 at 10:45pm
Buffy- I'm a pharmaceutical rep who markets anti-anxiety/depression drugs. That's how I thought you had SAD based on your description. It's textbook. Many people suffer from SAD and panic attacks because they lack serotonin or norepenephrine in their system. Pharmaceuticals can help to balance these levels but they must be taken consistently. It's just like people who take insulin for diabetes or synthroid because their thyroid levels are low. Maybe you can check out the $4 generics if you find that you need more help to overcome this obstacle. I wish you good luck and hope that you find the right treatment (pharmaceutical or not) to balance your life. Probably the most frustraing thing is that your friends can't relate to this and probably tell you to snap out of it or just to relax. It's not as easy as that! Maybe you can find some online support for this as well. This is a very treatable problem.
drowsymaggi2 Profile Photodrowsymaggi2 Profile Photo
drowsymaggi2
Swing
joined:8/25/07
Swing
joined:
8/25/07
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#15
Posted: 8/26/07 at 11:49am
Buffy I'm not much help as I suffer with really bad anxiety at auditions and like you am nearly having a complete meltdown but if you have social anxiety and you are still auditioning I take my hat off to you . Just keep auditioning and try not to analyse afterwards just move on . Doing a post-mortem will just make you more anxious the next time. And dont worry about what the casting director thinks of you , focus on your performance because we can never read someone else's mind and if you are that nervous the slightest thing will put you off. I remember a casting director yawned before and I convinced myself I was crap but I got a call back so you just never know. Have you read the book 'Social Phobia:From Shyness to Stage Fright by John Marshall. It helped me a lot with performance nerves as well as helping me with shyness that I have experienced since a child.
Mjvstudio Profile PhotoMjvstudio Profile Photo
Mjvstudio
Swing
joined:2/17/13
Swing
joined:
2/17/13
re: Horrible Audition Anxiety#16
Posted: 9/9/19 at 8:28pm

It turns out that audition anxiety is experienced by a lot of professional performers. After completing my doctoral dissertation based on a treatment for audition anxiety for musical theater performers, I put together a website to provide some resources to sufferers. I hope it can be helpful for other people with audition and performance anxiety! Check out AuditionAnxiety.com


Page: 1