Stepping on Stage with Ms. Gill

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Stepping on Stage with Ms. Gill

Sarah Buchman, Staff

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It’s almost time for your scene. Your stomach is full of butterflies, and your hands start to sweat. You take deep breaths, but your voice still comes out shaky. You step on stage, and your hit with bright lights. The whole auditorium is full of people, and they are all waiting to see what you do next.  

You are overwhelmed. You try to speak, but nothing comes out. Your frozen.  

Seems pretty scary, right? Yet, so many people love to participate in school theater productions. Most people are always nervous before getting on stage and preforming, but everyone has different ways of dealing with it.  

Stage fright is what happens when we perceive danger, even though it’s not real danger. Sometimes it’s from the fear of not knowing who’s looking at you, or the fear of what their saying about you.  

Theater and English teacher Lauren Gill talks about the challenges and solutions of performing.  

Ms. Gill first got into theater in high school and has made some of her best memories performing in college as well. She was also able to make lots of amazing friends through theater. 

When the opportunity came up to teach theatre here at CHS, I jumped at the chance to give my students some of those same amazing memories,” she shared. 

Ms. Gill believes that the hardest part of performing depends on the actor. Different challenges could be memorizing lines or battling nerves. Its normal to have these issues when you’re trying something new, its natural. Many performers find that it all gets easier with practice.  

“The more rehearsed and comfortable you are with what you are tasked to do, the better your performance,” Ms. Gill suggested. 

But why do people get these fears like stage fright? 

Any type of public speaking can be terrifying. People feel trapped because all eyes are on them. For many, that is a nightmare scenario. 

Here at CHS, theater participants have come up with many ways to cope and relax the fears people might get before preforming. 

In Comet Theatre, we have a ritual to help combat stage fright. We do a series of warm ups and give a speech about taking those butterflies in your tummy and riding on those wings to soar to a great show,” Ms. Gill explained. 

Despite the stage fright, theater is a great experience. People can pretend to be someone else and are free to live any way they want. Performance also opens up a new gate to make so many good friends. 

Theatre is also a family for many students. You have a group of people working hard together to create something beautiful. That can be an amazing bonding experience for many students,” Ms. Gill commented. 

Having the option for theater is really beneficial to students, they can learn many valuable skills that will help them later on in life. It’s a way to show student’s creativity and expression as well. It’s unfortunate that preforming arts programs are often the courses to get cut. 

Theatre can give students confidence, public speaking skills, and the ability to learn to work well with all kinds of people and personalities. Theatre, well, arts in general, can help students foster their creativity and think abstractly,” Ms. Gill explained.

Even if you’re scared, trying out theater could be a fulfilling experience for everyone. It’s always worth a try. 

My advice for first-time performers would be to just go for it! Don’t let nerves and self-consciousness deter you from taking the leap,” Ms. Gill recommends.