Hello! I’m back! I hope you enjoyed my little introduction piece. I’m going to dive right in this time and talk all about GIGS!
Arguably, the best part of being a performer. Kind of the whole point really…
So why can they be so flipping nerve racking??
If you’re anything like me, gigs can be super exciting but also super daunting. I’ve been performing for over 10 years and still get stage nerves before a gig. I used to spend the entire day before the gig fretting about the journey, the venue, make up, outfit, set list. But luckily (for my sanity and the sanity of those around me) I have found ways to manage this anxiety and I will now share these with you!
The biggest help towards feeling less anxious is preparation. I like to get my kit prepared the day before if possible and have a checklist for what I need to take. This could look like:
Spare string pack
Jack cable x2
Pedal board (tuner + bodyrez + POG + patch cables)
Vocalzones (honey, not those awful black ones)
Snack (even though I am one ha!)
Obviously everyone has their own kit so compile your list as appropriate to you. A list like this can make it a little less cray getting ready for gigs and ease some of the anxiety relating to ‘where the hell is all my sh#@!’.
It can also be beneficial (in my case anyways) to have your outfit ready. I don’t know if you’ve ever done the whole ‘I have nothing to weaaarrr’ while staring at a wardrobe full of clothes but it ain’t fun. Be flexible though! Nothing is set in stone, so if you’re not feeling it on the day then feel free to switch it up!
Travel clothes and stage clothes are best kept separate a lot of the time too. If you have a greenroom or even a bathroom at the venue, you might find it easier just to change there and give yourself a nicer journey by wearing something you feel more comfy in. You’ll also feel less sweaty and frumpy when your time to shine comes around because you won’t have spent hours in your stage clothes already. (cakey make up and soggy armpits are the last thing you want before hitting the stage, ugh!)
Enough about clothes though. That’s only part of the fun.
Again, along the lines of preparation, make sure you get all the show details before the gig day. Set length (so you can figure out a setlist and not worry about those loooong awkward silences on stage), load in times, is there a load-in entrance, greenroom, any refreshments or bar tab, parking? Etc. All this can make your experience run a bit smoother and cause yourself a little less stress.
In addition to preparation, there are also some ways you can help with those leftover niggling, nerves. I’ve found personally, working on my mindset has really helped. Someone once said to me, excitement and anxiety have the same symptoms. Heart racing, butterflies and so on. SO something you can do to help your mindset is tell yourself that the ‘anxiety’ you are feeling about your gig is actually excitement! This might help you get hyped and enjoy the gig a bit more than if you’re fretting, thinking you are on the verge of a meltdown…
And as cliche as it sounds, deep breaths are a valuable tool in calming nerves. They also help with your lung capacity and getting prepped if you’re a singer or an active performer. Put some breathing exercises in with your pre-gig warm up and make it part of your routine. Even if you don’t feel particularly nervous, it will help you to have that consistency and put you in a great mindset, ready to smash your performance!
I hope this helps my fellow performers and even if you’re not a performer but go into situations where you feel nervous or uneasy, I hope you can apply some of this to help in those times too!
If you’re wanting me to write about a certain topic or you want my opinion on something, feel free to get in touch and I will certainly see what I can do!
Stay happy and healthy and see you next time x