Do you ever feel on stage like you have no idea what to do with your hands and arms? Do you revert to holding the microphone with both hands, putting a hand in your pocket, or tugging on the edge of your shirt? If so, this one’s for you.
When you’re nervous on stage, it can feel like you’re enclosed in an imaginary box or cage, where it feels uncomfortable and risky to make any gestures that extend boldly outside its confines. You know you want to stop standing there uncomfortably, your hands feeling like dead weight at the ends of your arms. But you don’t know how to move them. And the problem is, the moment you start thinking about looking natural, you stop looking natural!
Here’s what you can do:
Find videos of a couple of your favorite performers. Observe the exact gestures they use with their arms and hands. Try some of the gestures out in the privacy of your bedroom or practice space. Some will feel weird to you, others will feel more natural. It’s OK. Everyone’s different.
Then, pick just one or two of the most natural gestures to add to your next performance. (Don’t choreograph – just have them in mind.) When you feel it’s the right time, use them.
I have found that starting with just one or two ideas of gestures opens the door to all kinds of other natural movements. The key is in getting started, in breaking through the boundaries of that imaginary box!
(c) 2011 Adrienne Osborn