That Feeling….

Hmm, a bit risqué you might think but nothing rude here.

What I call “The Feeling”, it’s what I have become to yearn. You might find you hate this feeling of fear when you have to perform or even just speak in front of a crowd. I imagine even the biggest live artists and performers have this. It is a known fact that some Rockstar’s in the 60-70s and possibly still today had and have rituals like even vomiting before appearing on stage.

What is it like? Well it is like the same feeling you get possibly when you are embarrassed or asking a girl on a date possibly. You feel heat building up in your head, maybe the shakes, a swirling stomach with sweaty palms and face. For me it’s mainly a feeling of becoming hot and sweating in the palms and forehead like nothing else, my throat closes up and I start to feel like “What am I doing here?”  But, you can control it after a while, I tell all my clients with the coaching I offer, you will learn to want this more. With a look of disbelief coming back at me.

The simple way I explain this is when it was my first debut on stage, at school. this was just a small part I had to play at the back of stage. I was a pupil in a classroom scene, I think. Just one line in a 2-hour play with one appearance lol. As that line approached, “The Feeling” built, like you don’t want to sit still, you want to just look at the floor. ‘I’ve forgot my one line’ goes through my head. You have got to remember at this point the number of people watching the performance, might have been 60-70 parents and they all know you, is this a good thing? I’m not too sure, it doesn’t make the performance any easier. So what was the worry? But I hated it. I never got “out to the other side”, we will get onto that.

At this point, I was swayed to backstage and never performed on a stage again until I was 18. Doing backstage tasks, lighting and sound and prop placement but this still gave me the feeling but not nowhere as intense as when you have to speak. The feeling this time is created by thoughts like” Will I place the object in the right place? Will I forget to remove a prop? Is the next lighting scene ready, and is it the right one?” etc. Each show this feeling subsided little by little, this I suppose, is all down to confidence in yourself.

(Back in the day when I was just there to call out numbers)

The next time I was to use a microphone on stage. Yes, we probably all started here that is right calling Bingo lol. I remember it like it was yesterday, the sweats while on stage for the first time, a hot feeling in the cheeks and face and at this time faced with the jeering of the other well experienced artists offering no support at all, actually when I think back this is totally un-acceptable  in the industry but that is a blog for another time. Bingo is a serious game in most places, especially in a well formed members club where the chairman’s and committee’s eyes are all over you waiting to scrutinize your every breath, you might also find people arguing over £5 and even the most un-seasoned bingo player takes it seriously. At this time I was a new employee and I wanted to make sure all the rules were mentioned and I didn’t miss a call. At this time in my stage career I struggled to show much cabaret flair or even a smile. Again each day that feeling subsided until a few years later I found by my own admission I upped the ante.


So after 1-2 years of bingo calling up my sleeve building my confidence and  “The Feeling” getting less and less, I found myself putting myself forward for a spot of DJ’ing. At this time I knew nothing about music, apart from the artists I liked.

This time, there I am playing some tracks, trying to get the audience engaged, sweating cheeks, flushed, looking down, “The Feeling” was there on the first night and stayed there for a few weeks, till it started to subside. Eight years later of doing this and very occasionally when trying something new would “The Feeling” emerge. But experience and confidence allow you to soon control this, the biggest audience at this stage in my career was probably 100-200 people.

After this, it lead me on to my radio career and the feeling was more of a technical worry but not a hot sweaty face or flushed embarrassment face more like “What do I say?”. I remember my first day on the radio, I left the house at 6.a.m in the morning saying goodbye to the Wife, the reply I got was “good luck”.

(One of the first days at Point FM, I can tell because I was sitting down)


Off into the studio and “The Feeling” builds as I cue the news in on time, over to me now to do my first weather report. That robotic voice was there, I was thinking what are you doing? By the end of the first 3-hour show I was bouncing around and you couldn’t get me off the mic, texts of support coming from friends and family boosted my confidence and brought me out the other side, but we will talk later about the other side.

(One of the Perks of being a radio presenter is being invited to another station, this time in Spain)


So back to “The Feeling” and live performances. A few years ago I had put myself forward for a local festival as a Master of Ceremonies. The posh word for a Compare I suppose. I did all my preparation and had a list of what I needed to say etc. This time sunglasses on, I walk up the steps and out onto the stage to find BAM “The Feeling”. I remember this time I was sweating so bad the sweat fogged up my sunglasses and I struggled to read my notes. I thought oh dear, this time I had overdone it. After my first stage appearance of the day I found myself calming down and contemplating should I go and tell the organizer I can’t do it. The nerves had really got me, even the weirdest excuses came to me, I just thought get me outa here.  But once again, each time I climbed the steps that feeling lessened and was replaced by the rush of adrenaline, and at the end of the night, I was left wanting a bigger stage and bigger audiences and more of it!

(The Day The sweat rolled down my face on the stage, and not because of the funky suit)

After years of stage work with “The Feeling” there, I then found each performance “The Feeling” lasting for the first segment of any show but I began to talk to others about this and said that the nerves had now gone to some kind of adrenaline rush that I actually enjoyed. My latest and biggest performance was again at a local festival this time audience size of 6-8000. So you climb the steps and burst onto the stage with Toploader waiting in the wings and many other bands backstage listening to you and you know, this is you. this is it! “The Feeling” is there and you just burst through it. I now say to people as the audiences get bigger so does “The Feeling”, but bursting out the other side is more euphoric and happens very quickly and doesn’t hang over you as it did.

(“The Feeling” builds when the flight cases roll in)

Bursting Out the other side…..

So I explain this term as the best bit of the performance, it’s like you have stepped out of the rain and into the sun. So in terms of putting it on paper, it goes something like this. You climb up the stairs onto the stage or walk through the door into the conference room “The Feeling” is at its peak here, you run out onto the stage and say something like ” How are You all Feeling Tonight?” the reply, the roar, now that is the point of bursting out the other side, right there. At that point you know they are with you and at that point, I find my performance will explode and I just let go and get the audience where they need to be!! When coaching I will say things like make your performance sound and look exciting, If you look like your having an amazing time up there the audience will a good time is viral.

(Sometimes a little help is needed to burst out the other side!)

Summing up here after a long blog about something you might think doesn’t apply to you, “The Feeling” is there for everyone to fight it on all your public appearances, lectures, presentations and speeches, it could be even a job interview. You WILL get out the other side, it just takes longer to get there sometimes bear with it I promise you . I see so many talented individuals and musicians won’t perform due to “The Feeling” I say to you guys you will enjoy bursting out the otherside but at the time you don’t think so, it might be when you come off stage, but the feeling of achievement is amazing and well worth all the effort. Whether you are a musician or in a business performance, use your friends, colleagues or band members to boost “The Feeling”, you will want more of it over your career I promise!


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