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Help! Tired eight yo with stage fright needs to leave for performance in couple of hours... Wise words needed

(30 Posts)
bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 21-May-17 11:47:42

Dd2 is in a drama group. They are doing a performance on stage this afternoon and they have been preparing for a few months. Dd has learned her lines and cues. But she is a tearful mess right now.

She is one of the youngest in the group and is very sensitive - she really cares about getting things wrong and messing up. Her first performance last year did go wrong as she had a long scene lying on the floor pretending to be asleep and cried throughout (it was awful I wanted to run over and pick her up but held off as it would have made it worse)sad.
She has had a very successful in stage performance since then. But she spent the yesterday on a tiring school trip so is more emotional today as a result.

What wise words can I use to help reassure her and give her a confidence boost. I don't think break a leg will cut it!confused I have chucked her into a deep bubble bath to help take some of the physical tension away - what else will help???

TopangaD Sun 21-May-17 12:21:13

Tall her to enjoy telling the story. Everyone from children in drama groups to professional actors get nerves and things will go wrong which is what makes theatre live and alive..
Only yesterday I was chatting to a friend about an actor we knew who recently passed away.. this actor was a top professional and one day comepletely forgot his lines.. the part allowed him to cover it up but he was on stage a good 5 minutes before getting the words back. The audience totally knew but went with it and cheered when he finished his speech.. other actors I know have fallen asleep on stage and fallen over and forgotten props and accents and all sorts of things,. But theatre is a about team work and they had everyone else in stage to look out for them and work together to keep the story going.
Also a good trick is to turn nerves into a good energy by jumping up and down.. I hope she enjoys after all

JsOtherHalf Sun 21-May-17 12:39:31

Some lavender oil in the bath?

See if she will eat a banana and some dark chocolate?

bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 21-May-17 13:57:10

Hello. Thank you for replying anecdotes about actors messing up are good idea, and I went for a rosemary based de-stress bath foam, which helped. We went through the script together before the bath and after she chilled with her tablet. She has now set off looking much more relaxed and ☺. A big relief.

I think she will do fine. It will all be alright on the night, the groups director is very good I am sure they will give the cast a good pep talk etc.

Chocolatefrogs Sun 21-May-17 15:02:26

Good luck to your DD OP! smile We're all rooting for her smile

bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 21-May-17 16:28:17

Thank you grin
We are off to see the show now.

CinderellasBroom Sun 21-May-17 16:30:30

The Smiling Mind app helps my anxious performer. And she's always in tears before and then bounces off, smiling, and asking if she can do it again. Needs a bath to calm down enough to sleep, though.

bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 21-May-17 18:26:19

On dear

In tears on stage again. She rushed off stage after the first song. I spoke to her back stage she was in bits and wasn't going to get back onstage so we took her home.

Such a shame. She did really well in rehearsal apparently. But I don't think she felt prepared, not enough rehearsal of songs and stage positions. Dd doesn't 'wing it' she likes to know exactly what's what.sad

Orlandointhewilderness Sun 21-May-17 18:31:17

Sounds like she isn't really cut out for performing OP. Bless her. Lots of hugs and chocolate!

JamesDelayneysTattoos Sun 21-May-17 18:32:24

As a mother of performers I would question whether she's ready to be on stage. A one off on her first time perhaps.

Have you spoken to the director about her? He/she must know how anxious it makes her feel. Can't they give her a role/ensemble that doesn't involve lines?

JamesDelayneysTattoos Sun 21-May-17 18:34:11

Sorry posted too soon. Make sure you give her lots of hugs but try not to analyse what happened, it won't help right now. She's only 8, still young.

ComingUpTrumps Sun 21-May-17 19:16:23

flowersflowers thinking of you and your DD OP. How is she feeling now?

bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 21-May-17 20:21:48

Thank you folks.

She was very quiet on the drive home, looking flushed and sad - of course she has huge eyes that tear your soul when filled with tears!

Anyway since then she has cheered up - favourite dinner of mac cheese, favourite tv programme Mystery Science Theatre and no more theatre talk has got her back to her more cheerful usual self.

I am not sure what to do about theatre group... They said not to worry and cone back as usual next week. But they are structured around preparing, rehearsing and performing on stage. So she will need to be capable of getting through again. Thing is she can do it. She had a big role in the Christmas play at school to a much larger audience and was great. The last stage show with this theatre group went really well.

At least she will get a smaller role for the next show as they will not want to risk her falling apart again. Poor dd sad

RhiWrites Sun 21-May-17 20:49:07

Oh I am sorry.

Maybe drama is not for her. But if she wants to continue I suggest lots and lots of improv. It will help with nerves and knowing that honesty is more important than perfection in acting.

FreeNiki Sun 21-May-17 20:58:28

So she will need to be capable of getting through again.

This is the second time she has dissolved in tears on stage.

She doesnt need to be capable, she needs you to.not send.her back to the group.

She did good in a school play as it is what it is. School friends and mums and dads.

bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 21-May-17 21:02:42

She loves the improv they do at the weekly sessions, we will have to see what the group director says. She might get over her stage fright she might not, it is hard to say as dd is a mass of contradictory personality traits. Sometimes she can be so confident other times she is incredibly clingy and anxious confused

FreeNiki Sun 21-May-17 21:06:02

Her first performance last year did go wrong as she had a long scene lying on the floor pretending to be asleep and cried throughout

This stands out to me.

That is the easiest thing to do. She didnt even have to do anything but lie there quietly and not move and she sobbed throughout.

I went to theatre school myself. Perhaps she doesnt have the right temperament for it.

DoloresTheRunawayTrain Sun 21-May-17 21:06:17

For Gods sake woman. Listen to what your daughter is telling you and remove the stars from your eyes. She cannot handle improvisation at this age so apply the breaks and tell her she can try again if she wants to in a few years when she's a bit more mature. Sending her back just because she managed it once is a sure fire way to build up a phobia and make her hate something she may enjoy if she's allowed to find her own way back to it. If she doesn't it's not the end of the world.

DoloresTheRunawayTrain Sun 21-May-17 21:06:34


bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 21-May-17 21:08:38

When I said she should perhaps not continue going to group she cried even more. She loves going. She works hard learns her lines as thoroughly than anyone else and they love her. The audience today were family of the group members all familiar to dd about 30 people. The two performances of the Christmas show were in front of 100-150 so it is not clear cut.

DoloresTheRunawayTrain Sun 21-May-17 21:11:42

Yes, that's her fear of disappointing people coming out. You are and adult and you can see what this is doing to her. Let her have a break for a bit and if she's really missing it she can go back.

FreeNiki Sun 21-May-17 21:12:49

You cant allow her to keep disrupting performances and everyone elses hard work by crying every time.

You wouldnt allow your child to continue to so something that caused them this much distress and actually inconvenienced everyone else.

bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 21-May-17 21:22:59

Stars in my eyes grin

That is funny, cheers. Honestly I have let dd continue because she loves going, I practice lines because she wants to I gave her the option to leave after the show last year and she had the Summer off. Then. Begged. To. Return. I reluctantly agreed, the show they did next went brilliantly so we thought she was fine. Until today.

I would be very happy having a lie in on Saturday again. But maybe I am a pushy showbiz mother and desperate for fame at any price... DD will decide the next steps not me.

FreeNiki Mon 22-May-17 00:12:58

DD will decide the next steps not me.

How about you be the parent and make the important decisions?

She's cried on stage twice recently including when all she had to do was pretend to be sleeping. It's upset her and spoiled performance for everyone else participating and watching.

She's done it before, begged to go back and done it again.

She just doesn't have the fortitude or confidence to do it reliably.

It's time you found her another hobby. It's meant to be fun.

Only1scoop Mon 22-May-17 06:25:49

Dd is in a similar sounding group and joined at 4, production term is their busy one. TBH her teacher wouldn't put anyone up there for the end of term performance if they continually dissolved Into tears on performance night.
Is there an extra drama group at school she can join in with if she's happier in that familiar environment. You'd get that lie in back wink

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