just wondering, does anyone have good tips for dealing with stage fright, especially for little kids (so, nothing too complicated)?
a. has been very keen on playing Emperor Augustus for this year's nativity play, and she got the part, but has a lot of lines to say (i suppose it was meant for a much older kid) - and she already told me after her children choir presentation that she doesn't like it when people look at her, and back then mainly stood there and only sang along for a bit, so i wonder how it'll be for her standing in front of a full church having to speak all by herself. i thought i'll tell her to mainly look at me or mr. r., pretending we are her only audience - any other ideas?
Tell her she was selected for Emperor Augustus because it's obvious that she is the best person to play the part. Tell her to be sure to pretend very hard that she is the emperor, so she will be caught up in the pretense & not thinking about people looking at her.
It doesn't sound as though she has stage fright, just normal and understandable self-consciousness about facing a bunch of people and being judged. So, if she can get into conveying the mighty emperor and not little girl Agnes she should be fine. I imagine that she'll practice her part for you & Mr. R and you two can react as though you fully believe the emperor is right there.
Check that she knows what the story is all about and her place in the story. Sometimes the young ones are taught to 'stand there and say...' and they don't know why. Let her strut around the house 'being' Augustus while learning her lines.
Let her know that sometimes the people in the audience laugh if they think the actors are doing well. This reassures her if there are glitches on stage which cause sympathetic laughter from the audience.
Let her dress up in her robes, headgear etc to get used to them and that they are secure.
Reassure her that if she does forget some words to look to where the prompter person is and they will start her off again.
Remind her that you will be watching her, but she should keep watching the other actors and not look for you in the audience. It is good if she knows where you are, but she can easily lose track of what is happening onstage if she starts waving or interacting with you.
As the theatre folk in Australia say "Chookas!" (Google it)
A sweet little boy playing the inn-keeper said..."I'm sorry, Sir. but I have no rooms left...but would you like to come in for a drink?
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
thanks! will try all that with her - i think she will enjoy the strutting around the house (she also already asked if she can stomp her foot angrily at one part), and she will definitely enjoy the costume, she loves dressing up. for now, we started just reading the text together for a few minutes every evening, started that five days ago and she has about half of it memorized (without really sitting down to learn it, just be me reading it to her), i think that is pretty good. also discussed some of the words and their meaning with her - as you said, she needs to know what she is saying and why, rather than just saying her lines.
thanks! she now says that next year she'd like to play mary (of course, that is a very popular role, so she won't be the only one who wants it, but i told her she has to ask the pastor, then she'll have a chance)