Top 10 Things Solo Performers Need to Know Before Hitting the Stage

1. Tighten your tits.
Tighten. those. bra. straps! (If you got em) If it’s strapless, and you’re getting physical, that shit won’t do. I’ve had this RUIN a performance before and make me fall down into a deep pit of shame. Deal with your tits. Unless you wanna show those bad boys. Then you can skip this one, and #2 as well.

2. Be confident.
Fake it till you make it. Anxiety has no right taking over your moment. When you finally get up there, that’s your time. Yeah, you’re up there by yourself, that sentence alone sounds terrifying. But trust me, there is no greater feeling then telling your anxieties to shut up and FINALLY owning it. Commit to what you are doing no matter what.

3. Relax.
When your regulated you can relax into the moment. What you’re saying, the music, whatever. I find when I can relax, I start improvising, I start playing with my text. I get more laughs. Don’t get too exited though, remember some tech out there has your script. Don’t mess them up too much and make them stressed out in return. Hint: How to relax-> BREATHE.

4. Eat.
Seriously, just eat. I know you’re not hungry, but it’s important. Eat a damn banana AT LEAST. You are about to perform for what I’m assuming is an entire show. Do you know how many humans I’ve seen fall right over to the ground? SEVERAL. I’m a Stage Manager. My dearest stage manager friend told me of an instance once where she had to fireman carry some girl off the stage and yell at Susan to get the juice. Why did she faint onstage? Because she didn’t eat that day.

5. Take a moment of Gratitude.
Before each show I do, I put my hands over my face and do my version of what some people call prayer. I thank the universe for what I have: All the richness and happiness in my life. You may be having a bad day, or you might not believe in spirituality- but you are about to go on stage. Do you know how much of a privilege that is? Some people are sitting at a desk right now, or in a hospital, or jail cell for no reason. Take a moment of gratitude.

6. Poop.
Do NOT hold that shit in.

7. Treat it like it’s a hot date.
Shave your legs. Paint your toe nails. Wax your beard. Take your time getting ready. Give yourself a pep talk. Practice self love (this does not mean drinking before your show). You’re about to go on a hot date with an entire audience. You’re about to share your soul. It’s an event, dress up for it

8. Warm up.
Sea shells, sea shells, by the sea shore. Peter picked a pipe of pickled peppers. Red leather, yellow leather, red leather, yellow leather. Toy boat, toy boat, toy boat, toy boat. Touch your toes and count to thirty. Thirty sit-ups, 10 pushups, shake it out. Dance crazy to your favourite song. Now get on that stage.

9. Find Approval within.
At the end of the show, there is often a moment when you realize that now the show has been given to your audience. You start thinking things like: Gee, I hope they liked it… I hope it was everything they always wanted out of a theatrical experience. The thing is, it doesn’t matter. Their opinion is not your business. It should only matter to them. It’s a tricky deal when your lively hood is making sure people come to your show. But you need to make sure that you approve of yourself first and foremost. Give yourself a pat on the back. Say good job sport, you just did that. No matter what happens on that stage, remember that the accomplishment is going up there in the first place.

10. Fun is the most important thing.
It’s why we do it. It’s why we make press releases and websites, and why we work our BUTTS off to get the opportunity to do what we do in the first place. To have fun. Don’t forget to have that. When you’re up there it’s not up to the audience to give you a good time. It’s not up to you to give the audience a good time either. (Well it kinda is). But most importantly, it’s up to you to get yourself off. To give yourself a good time. Spread your wings, have fun, and you’ll go far.

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  1. Pingback: A Pep Talk for the Performer- With Love

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