The following hot performance tip is from my new book A Perfect Performance.
HOT PERFORMANCE TIP #2
AUDITION NERVES EXERCISE
Following on from hot performance tip #1 which discusses healthy nerves, the following exercise is a great one from the Eric Morris technique and his book Being and Doing. Dealing with the Demons is an exercise about exposing your nerves and either ridding yourself completely of that tension or turning it into positive energy. Very beneficial for audition preparation.
Dealing with the Demon: Tension is the demon. Once you identify it verbally (out loud is a must, and not just in your head) and acknowledge what it is doing to you at that moment, it will move to another place until finally it dissipates (hopefully into nothing). The enemy of the demon or tension is exposure. If you allow tension to stay hidden it compounds itself. Your little ant hill of tension will build up into an unnecessary mountain. But if you expose it, you no longer have the need to be better off than you really are. You know you’re tense, and instead of ignoring it, you turn to the business of getting rid of it. To do the exercise, start verbalising your inner dialogue out loud. You know the random thoughts, commentary and mental movie imagery that’s going on in your head. Verbalise everything. Sometimes you won’t even finish a sentence before you already move on to another verbal thought. That’s okay. Go with it. Just keep the dialogue going with as little pause as possible. This stimulates a moment-to-moment flow of reality. Now verbally chase your demon as it scurries through your body. For example, “I feel tension in my right shoulder. Hello there demon. Oh it just moved down to my elbow. I know you’re there…” By continuing this ‘Stream of Consciousness’ exercise you will chase your demon around your body until it loses its grip on you completely.
Good luck! Let me know how you go or if you have any questions.