Yes, YOU can!
I’ve traveled the country and, yes, the world performing magic. I do over a hundred shows a year: corporations, tours, and private events.
When I began, I was terrified of performing. My family suggested I perform for friends to get experience. But, I considered that the worst possible situation; I certainly didn’t want to fail in front of people I knew!
When I started performing professionally, my hands would literally shake when I began a show. I’m a magician - that’s not a good way to be. The mere thought of doing a show made my heart race. Don’t believe me? Ask my mom, or my wife.
What made the difference for me?
Three things. And if you’re like I was, these three will probably make it easier for you. (I didn’t say “easy” I said “easier”.) There’s a big difference, of course!
Breathe, Believe, and Experience
Let’s take a quick look at these three magic elements of performing.
This one seems simple. And yet, that’s the catch. Breathing is a natural thing we do. You breathe unconsciously to stay alive. Try to hold your breath until you pass out. You can’t do it. Your survival instinct says, no way.
Breathing sends oxygen to your brain and your body, and so it is also central to being relaxed. When I’m about to perform, I make a conscious effort to breathe. My breaths are deep and controlled. And I remember to keep breathing during my show.
Try this experiment and you’ll see what I mean. Take a big breath in, and hold it. Now sing a song that lasts longer than you can hold your breath. Towards the end, if you are in front of a mirror, you’ll notice that you look pained. The same is true when perform.
Okay, that sounds a little woo woo. But, here’s what I mean, and why it worked for me. I’ve always believed that I could be an effective performer. That belief started when I was a young man.
That belief kept me going when, at times, it was clear that I was the only one to believe it. I wanted to be a performer. I believed that I could be good, too. What is it you want to do? How much do you believe? That belief will propel you past challenges, and toward success.
You’re going to need to face the monster no matter what. I performed as much as anyone would let me. My heart would say yes, even though my brain was screaming, no. Ultimately, there is no substitute for time in the saddle. The more you’ve done something, the more comfort you develop.
I’ve performed sick. I’ve performed tired. I’ve performed last minute, I’ve performed without my props because I either forgot them, lost them, or they didn’t arrive with my luggage.
Ultimately, I perform because it’s what I want to do. I believe. I bet there’s something you’re dying to do. Don’t let fear get in the way. Go do it.