Breathing Kicks Nerves to the Curb

Updated: Oct 15, 2020


Our nerves get the best of us sometimes, but there are things we can do to quell and expelled them.

What do you do when you’re in the middle of an audition and you get ridiculously nervous? Maybe your body tenses, your hands get that nervous tremble, for me it's my mind - it goes blank! Perhaps your knees buckle beneath you and your whole body feels like it's about to melt like molten liquid into the floor. But wait, there's more.... your throat constricts, you can’t access your voice, it's been reduced to a thin whispery high pitch shrill, and now you sound just plain weird.

The audition/performance space can be intimidating. Your nerves can escalate enough to derail your performance.

It’s quite simple really. Breathe. Just breathe deeply, fully. In simplest terms, breathe deeply allowing your ‘belly’ to expand, your waist to expand like a balloon, and your back to expand in the opposite direction of your belly. Your breathe, if you could see it, drops low, low, low enough to hit your kegel muscles, (yeah I know) LOW yes that low!

How deeply should singers and actors breathe?
Got your attention? Okay, so the breath goes lower than what is pictured here. Below the belly button!

As you exhale, your belly and back deflate, and the breath gets expelled with energy. The exhalation should feel like a strong steady current, not a weak barely detectable trickle. It gets expelled through the mouth so that the action feels physical. It’s not a lackadaisical wimpy expulsion, nor is it thrust or forced out, it is a steady stream, creating a current that is expelled until the air is used up OR until you start a new phrase and take a new breath. If you were to exhale and expel this breath through a straw, and if you were to place a finger at the end of the straw, you should be able to feel the breath exit the straw and with a good amount of energy.

Practice steady streaming, strong current-like breathing through straws, and make sure your belly expands upon inhale and deflates like a balloon upon exhale.

When you breathe this way, instantly, your brain declutters, your body recharges, your feet plant firmly, your nerves relax and your focus sharpens. Your voice? It returns with all of its range accessible for your use. It is strong, supported, full round, and resonant (if you know about voice placement-another discussion to be had).