What Do Performers Do Before Going On Stage?

Performing in front of an audience can be a nerve-wracking experience, but what do performers do before they take the stage? This topic explores the various preparations that performers undertake to ensure they deliver their best performance. From physical and mental warm-ups to rehearsing and visualizing their performance, performers employ a range of techniques to get themselves in the right mindset and prepare their bodies for the physical demands of the performance. In this article, we will delve into the different strategies and routines that performers use to prepare themselves for a successful performance.

Quick Answer:
Performers typically engage in a variety of activities before going on stage to prepare themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally for their performance. This may include things like stretching and warm-up exercises to prevent injury, rehearsing their lines or music to ensure they are well-prepared, and getting into the right mindset to perform their best. Some performers may also have pre-show rituals, such as listening to music or visualizing their performance, to help them feel confident and focused. Ultimately, the specific preparations that a performer undertakes will depend on the nature of their performance and their own personal preferences and routines.

Preparation Starts Long Before the Performance

Building Confidence and Overcoming Nerves

Visualization Techniques

One technique that performers use to build confidence and overcome nerves is visualization. This involves creating a mental image of themselves performing well on stage, visualizing every detail from the start of the performance to the end. By visualizing themselves performing successfully, performers can build confidence and reduce anxiety. They can also use visualization to practice dealing with unexpected situations or mistakes that may occur during the performance.

Practice and Rehearsal

Another way that performers build confidence and overcome nerves is through practice and rehearsal. Rehearsing their performance repeatedly helps performers become more comfortable and confident with their material. They can identify areas where they need to improve and work on those areas until they feel confident in their abilities. Rehearsing also helps performers develop a sense of familiarity with their material, which can reduce anxiety and increase confidence.

In addition to practice and rehearsal, performers may also use other techniques to build confidence and overcome nerves. These can include things like deep breathing exercises, positive self-talk, and visualization techniques such as imagining a positive outcome. By using these techniques, performers can develop the confidence and mental toughness needed to excel on stage.

Physical and Mental Warm-Up

Stretching and Exercise

Performers understand the importance of physical preparation before going on stage. A well-prepared body is essential for executing physically demanding tasks, such as dance routines or acrobatics, with precision and confidence. To achieve this, performers engage in various stretching and exercise regimens that help them build strength, flexibility, and endurance.

One common practice among performers is to incorporate yoga and Pilates into their routine. These exercises not only help to improve flexibility and balance but also promote mindfulness and focus, which are crucial for performing at one’s best. Additionally, performers may also engage in cardiovascular exercises, such as running or cycling, to build endurance and maintain optimal physical conditioning.

Mindfulness and Meditation

In addition to physical preparation, performers also recognize the importance of mental preparation before going on stage. Performing in front of an audience can be nerve-wracking, and the pressure to deliver a flawless performance can be overwhelming. To manage these emotions and perform at their best, performers often incorporate mindfulness and meditation techniques into their pre-performance routine.

Mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing and visualization, help performers to focus their attention and reduce anxiety. Meditation, on the other hand, allows performers to clear their minds and cultivate a sense of calm and composure before going on stage. By incorporating these techniques into their pre-performance routine, performers are better equipped to handle the pressures of performing and deliver their best performance.

Selecting and Rehearsing Performance Material

Choosing the Right Songs or Routines

Before performers take the stage, they must select the right songs or routines for their performance. This involves considering factors such as the audience, the venue, and the overall theme or message of the performance. Performers must also consider their own strengths and weaknesses as well as the tone and mood they want to convey.

Polishing Acts and Ensuring Smooth Transitions

Once the performance material has been selected, performers must spend time rehearsing and polishing their acts. This includes practicing individual routines as well as ensuring smooth transitions between them. Performers must also pay attention to the timing of their performance, making sure that each routine is the right length and that the pacing is appropriate. Additionally, performers may work on adding special effects, such as lighting or sound cues, to enhance the overall impact of their performance.

Managing Time and Logistics

Key takeaway: Performers use various techniques to prepare themselves before going on stage. These techniques include visualization, practice and rehearsal, physical and mental warm-up, selecting and rehearsing performance material, managing time and logistics, and handling pre-performance jitters. Additionally, performers engage in activities to create a positive performance atmosphere, such as setting the mood, establishing rapport with the audience, maintaining focus and presence during the performance, and reflecting on their performance.

Scheduling and Time Management

Arrival and Soundcheck

Performers understand the importance of being punctual and prepared for their performances. They usually arrive at the venue early to get settled in and go through a soundcheck. During the soundcheck, they work with the sound engineers to ensure that their microphones and instruments are properly adjusted for optimal sound quality.

Warm-Up and Change Room Setup

In addition to soundchecks, performers also prioritize warm-up routines before going on stage. This can include physical exercises, vocal warm-ups, or rehearsing specific sections of their performance. They also make sure to set up their change rooms with all necessary items such as costumes, makeup, and props to ensure a smooth transition between songs or scenes.

Performers understand that timing is crucial in their performances, so they make sure to allocate enough time for these pre-show activities without cutting corners. By managing their time effectively, they can minimize stress and anxiety, and ensure that they are ready to give their best performance.

Travel and Accommodation Arrangements

Transportation and Parking

Performers typically need to arrive at the venue early to set up and rehearse before the show. They may have to coordinate transportation with their crew or band members, which can involve carpooling or renting a bus. In some cases, performers may need to arrange for special transportation, such as a limousine or tour bus.

In addition to transportation, performers may also need to think about parking arrangements. Depending on the venue, there may be limited parking available, or the performer may need to park a distance away from the venue. It’s important for performers to plan ahead and arrive at the venue with plenty of time to spare, so they can find parking and get settled in before the show.

Lodging and Meals

If the performance is taking place in a different city or state, performers may need to make arrangements for lodging. This may involve booking a hotel room or rental property near the venue. It’s important for performers to consider their needs and preferences when choosing lodging, such as the number of bedrooms, the location, and any amenities they may require.

In addition to lodging, performers may also need to think about meals. Depending on the length of the performance and the location, it may be necessary to arrange for meals to be delivered to the performer’s hotel room or to a nearby restaurant. It’s important for performers to plan ahead and make sure they have access to nutritious and satisfying meals throughout their stay.

Handling Pre-Performance Jitters

As a performer, the moments leading up to a performance can be filled with excitement, but also with nerves and anxiety. It’s natural to feel some pre-performance jitters, but it’s important to learn how to manage these feelings so that they don’t interfere with your performance. Here are some tips for handling pre-performance jitters:

Staying Focused and Present

One way to manage pre-performance jitters is to focus on the present moment and stay grounded in the here and now. This means avoiding thoughts about the past or future and instead focusing on the task at hand. You can try taking deep breaths, doing some light stretching, or visualizing yourself performing well. By staying focused and present, you can calm your nerves and prepare yourself for the performance.

Channeling Nervous Energy into Positive Performance

Another way to handle pre-performance jitters is to channel that nervous energy into positive performance. Instead of letting the nerves get the best of you, use them to fuel your performance. This means using your nerves as motivation to give your best performance. You can try pumping yourself up with some music, doing some light exercises, or even visualizing yourself nailing your performance. By channeling your nervous energy into positive performance, you can turn those pre-performance jitters into something that works in your favor.

Overall, handling pre-performance jitters requires a combination of staying focused and present, and channeling nervous energy into positive performance. By following these tips, you can manage your nerves and give your best performance.

Creating a Positive Performance Atmosphere

Setting the Mood and Creating a Supportive Environment

Performers often engage in various activities to set the mood and create a supportive environment before going on stage. This section will explore some of the techniques that performers use to prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for their performance.

Positive Affirmations and Encouragement

One way that performers create a positive performance atmosphere is by using positive affirmations and encouragement. This involves repeating positive phrases or mantras to oneself to build confidence and reduce anxiety. For example, a performer might repeat the phrase “I am capable and confident” to themselves before going on stage. Positive affirmations can help performers focus on their strengths and overcome any doubts or fears they may have.

Establishing Rituals and Routines

Another technique that performers use to create a supportive environment is by establishing rituals and routines. This involves engaging in specific activities before each performance to help establish a sense of routine and familiarity. For example, a performer might listen to a specific playlist or engage in a pre-performance warm-up routine to get themselves in the right mindset. Establishing rituals and routines can help performers feel more in control and prepared for their performance.

Performers also use visualization techniques to help them create a positive performance atmosphere. This involves visualizing oneself performing well and receiving positive feedback from the audience. Visualization techniques can help performers reduce anxiety and build confidence. For example, a performer might visualize themselves walking onto the stage, greeting the audience, and performing their routine with ease and confidence.

Overall, setting the mood and creating a supportive environment is an important aspect of preparing for a performance. By using positive affirmations, establishing rituals and routines, and visualizing success, performers can help themselves feel more confident and prepared for their performance.

Establishing Rapport with the Audience

Engaging the Audience

Performers often engage the audience by using humor, anecdotes, or jokes to break the ice and create a more relaxed atmosphere. This helps the audience feel more comfortable and allows the performer to connect with them on a personal level.

For example, a stand-up comedian might start their set by telling a joke or sharing a funny story about their day. This not only gets the audience laughing but also helps the comedian gauge the mood of the room and adjust their material accordingly.

Building a Connection

In addition to using humor, performers may also use storytelling to build a connection with the audience. By sharing personal anecdotes or experiences, performers can create a sense of relatability and empathy with the audience.

For instance, a musician might share a story about how they wrote a particular song or the inspiration behind a particular album. This helps the audience feel more connected to the performer and their music, creating a stronger emotional bond.

Moreover, performers may also use physical touch or gestures to connect with the audience. For example, a dancer might reach out and hold a fan’s hand during a performance, or a singer might walk into the audience and sing directly to a particular person. These physical connections help create a sense of intimacy and make the audience feel more involved in the performance.

Overall, establishing rapport with the audience is crucial for a successful performance. By engaging and connecting with the audience, performers can create a positive performance atmosphere and ensure that their message or art is received in the way they intend.

Maintaining Focus and Presence During the Performance

Staying Present and Mindful

As a performer, maintaining focus and presence during a performance is crucial for delivering a positive and engaging experience for the audience. One way to achieve this is by practicing mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing and visualization, to help maintain a clear and present state of mind.

Additionally, performers may use physical cues, such as stretching or moving around the stage, to help them stay grounded and focused throughout the performance. This helps to prevent distractions and ensures that the performer remains fully engaged with the material and the audience.

Connecting with the Audience

Another important aspect of maintaining focus and presence during a performance is connecting with the audience. This can be achieved by making eye contact, engaging in small talk, or even using humor to build a rapport with the audience.

By connecting with the audience, performers can create a sense of intimacy and engagement that can help to draw the audience into the performance and make it more memorable. This can also help to reduce performance anxiety and create a more positive and enjoyable experience for both the performer and the audience.

Overall, maintaining focus and presence during a performance is essential for delivering a positive and engaging experience for the audience. By using mindfulness techniques, physical cues, and connecting with the audience, performers can create a positive performance atmosphere that will leave a lasting impression on their audience.

Reflecting on the Performance

Assessing Strengths and Weaknesses

Performers engage in self-reflection before going on stage to evaluate their performance. They consider what went well and what didn’t, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses. This self-assessment allows them to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to enhance their performance. By being honest with themselves, they can work on their limitations and build on their strengths, ultimately leading to a more polished and well-rounded performance.

Planning for Future Performances

As part of their reflection process, performers also plan for future performances. They think about what they can do differently or better, considering aspects such as choreography, stage presence, and audience engagement. This forward-thinking approach helps them stay focused on continuous improvement and ensures that they learn from their past experiences.

Celebrating Successes and Learning from Challenges

Performers recognize and celebrate their successes while also learning from challenges. They acknowledge the moments that went well and appreciate the efforts that led to those successes. However, they also examine the obstacles they faced and identify ways to overcome them in the future. This mindset allows them to maintain a positive attitude and learn from their experiences, which can help them grow as performers and contribute to a more positive performance atmosphere.


1. What do performers do before going on stage?

Performers usually have a pre-performance routine that they follow to get themselves ready for their performance. This may include things like stretching, warming up their voice or instrument, and mentally preparing themselves for the performance. Some performers also like to visualize their performance and imagine themselves doing well.

2. Do performers get nervous before going on stage?

It’s normal for performers to feel some level of nervousness before going on stage. However, many performers have ways of managing their nerves, such as deep breathing exercises or visualization techniques. Some performers may also use medication or other methods to help them cope with stage fright.

3. How do performers prepare their instruments before going on stage?

Performers who play instruments typically spend some time tuning and adjusting their instrument before going on stage. They may also do some light playing to warm up their instrument and get a feel for how it’s sounding. This helps ensure that their instrument is in good working order and that they’re able to play at their best during the performance.

4. Do performers ever cancel performances?

Performers may cancel performances for a variety of reasons, such as illness or injury, scheduling conflicts, or other unforeseen circumstances. However, most performers will do their best to honor their commitments and perform as scheduled.

5. How do performers stay focused during a performance?

Performers often use a variety of techniques to stay focused during a performance, such as maintaining eye contact with their audience, using visualization techniques, and staying aware of their breathing and posture. Some performers also find it helpful to have a set routine or checklist that they follow during a performance to help them stay on track.

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