I often get asked the question ‘Do you still get nervous?’. The answer is and always will be yes. Nerves are a natural reaction to a stressful situation. No matter how experienced a performer is, they will still experience some degree of nerves. In fact, I would go as far to say that for the majority of people, nerves get worse with age. Somehow you become more aware of what could go wrong. I often find that young pupils of mine, before the age of about 11, are pretty much fearless and just get on with it. From the onset of out teens, we start to doubt ourselves and our abilities. We become more aware of others around us and worry about how we will be perceived. I’ve heard tales of performers vomiting at the side of the stage before their entrance. Not the most ideal situation before you’re about to sing.
The thing that does come easier with age is dealing with nerves. If channelled in the right way they can bring a positive element to the performance and not just a negative one. Some people rise to the occasion and thrive on the adrenalin whilst others shrink under the pressure.
Whether we like it or not, nerves will always be a part of performing. It’s the way we deal with them which can make or break a singer.