Tips for anxious performers

Tips for anxious performers

Someone probably did not notice
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Now I am not diagnosed with anxiety, but I do have a lot of “anxious” moments, as does everyone. I started performing when I was in second grade as a recreational cheerleader. Being so young and performing in front of small crowds and during the annual showcase was really fun for me, I loved the thrill of it, and so I kept it up until I was in eighth grade. When I got into high school I did color guard and performed in the half time shows at my high school with the marching band. I also had a chance to perform my junior and senior year at the biggest arenas I have ever performed in, MetLife stadium. It was every young performers dream to perform here, and I was not even scared. After football season ended my drive for performing was still in me so I joined an independent color guard called Pegasus Too. Since performing in gyms are different than performing outside on a football field the experience felt more intimate with the audience. When the season ended I ended up retiring for two years of performing to focus on college. But as I was in college I felt this hole in my heart missing performing and it made me go back this year to Pegasus Too. I had no idea what I was getting myself back into, performing as much as it is fun can also be very intimidating. When you don’t perform for two years going back into it again felt new to me again. Before shows I remembered how I would feel, excited because I knew what I was doing and have had so much experience in front of crowds. Not that I’m not excited to perform now but now that I am not as used to performing my anxiety creeps up on me when I least expect it too and makes everything feel faster than what it is. Thankfully I know how to cope with it during performances so when I mess up I always know how to jump back into it.

My first show back I remember physically shaking and having what felt like hot flashes during the times where I was not doing much but I pushed through and felt great at the end. After that I knew I would be performing more this season and tried different techniques to stop this feeling from happening before it took over.

I practiced breathing before performances, I know this may seem clique but when you know how to breathe properly by taking deep breathes and closing your eyes it does help. Some people may look at me weirdly if I close my eyes and breathe but as I do this I envision my favorite part of performing, when it’s over. I love the middle of performing too but the best part is once it’s over when you hear the clapping from the audience and feel the positive energy in the air it is very empowering.

Another trick I learned to help is to stare at something the whole time while performing. For example at the show I was at most recently performing at in the gym there was a large “X” taped to the wall at the top of the stands against the wall. I did not use this trick but it did help me look up and can help with people so they can be focused on that and direct their attention on that rather than the crowd.



Focus on you and not the people. Most people like me get intimidated by all the judging faces, but what you should be focused on is yourself. Are you performing properly? Are you counting in time with everyone? The face that judges you is not the one that knows the counts to the show, you are there to perform the counts to them. Even though you can’t shy away from the audience while performing remember to only focus on yourself and there is a way to not allow yourself to be hypnotized by them (no that doesn’t mean imagine them in their underwear). Practice not seeing them, what I mean is when you perform the only thing you see is the people and that alone is very intimidating, (it sounds harder than it seems) just imagine the stands being empty and imagine you are performing in front of nobody or maybe a smaller group of people you are excited to perform in front of, it makes things easier.

One last thing everyone needs to know when you perform is do not let the adrenaline get to you. My band director used to tell us this all the time and before my first performance I had no idea what he meant but now I’m glad I do. What I mean is that excitement you get that seems unbearable, learn to cool it down. My instinct before performing is always adrenaline but learning how to cope with it can be complicated. This ties into what I was saying before about the “focus on yourself” when you learn how to understand yourself, count on time and focus on you and your moves while performing that adrenaline will make you shine so bright and everyone will know it.

I know this all may seem so clique and “harder than what it seems” but at the end of the day no matter what you are performing always have this in your mind too.

  • Someone probably didn’t notice that you messed up (from a crowd’s point of view not judges just throwing that in there).
  • Time is only temporary so enjoy the time you have while performing
  • Don’t focus on the mistakes you make while performing focus on getting back into it as efficiently as you can. If someone can look at you and notice you made a mistake but got back into it they would be more impressed by the way you handled it and yourself rather than the mistake.
Cover Image Credit: Connally High School Band

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!
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After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUCbnwzySKgbKiB_...



14. Some activities on my bucket list are...


This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...



What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Using 'Tradition' As An Excuse For Blood Feuds Is Not Okay

Respecting culture should not include the allowance of massacre.

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Bloods feuds are different from your typical family argument. They generally occur in the Northeast or Central region of Albania and can take many people's lives.

A blood feud begins when a person takes another one's life in the midst of an argument or disagreement. When this happens they are not settled by a civil court or lifetime in prison; they are settled by using murder as revenge over an over again.

If not prevented, the two families in conflict will go back in forth taking someone's life from the family that wished to spite them, just to even the score.

Eventually, families run out of men to use in these blood feuds, and to make sure that the conflict is resolved, the women begin to dress up and act as males so they too can go out and kill each other. This practice has historical significance in their culture and should always be taught and remembered, but that does not justify allowing the practice to continue.

Sure it's insignificant, that I, as a female living in a developed country, would find this practice barbaric and want to stop it. But it's important to take a closer look at the families and realize how much they struggle and desperately need this to end to allow them to live.

Just in Albania's Shkodra region alone, there are estimated to be 68 families unable to leave their house in fear of what awaits them. People are unable to continue what would normally be a successful life if they are dragged into a fight that's not their own, by tradition alone.

In class today, my professor discussed his high school years, most of which were spent in Albania. He was exposed to, and friends, with many of the people trapped in this nightmare.

One in particular, he told us, would drive down in a van with tinted windows to a different city every day to carry out his life where no one knew him. He would work with them, hang out and play soccer, and drive home every day. This continued for months, until one day he stopped showing up, and eventually, my professor discovered he had been killed by the family that his family was in combat with.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event, and it is still happening while the rest of Albania develops around it. People want help to solve this issue and truly need it...

In this issue, awareness is key and can allow humanity around the world to step in an attempt to prevent this from continuing. If this goal is achieved, imagine the renewed life that the people trapped in this tradition would be able to discover.

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