Preventing stage fright

The opera singer

An aspiring singer recently wrote me asking this, “I cannot keep my voice steady when I sing on the stage, because I get nervous and suffer severe stage fright. Can you give me some professional advice on why this might be happening and how to fix the problem?”
I investigated the throat of a man who has the exact same issues, and here are my findings.
I purposely put him in an atmosphere to simulate his nervous feelings and stage fright. This atmosphere was a room with a fairly large audience surrounding him while he sang. I used a video camera and recorded the entire performance. I also focused in on him, checking and observing his throat when he was singing. He stated after the performance that he indeed felt nervous and suffered moderate to severe stage fright.
After the performance with the audience, I then relocated him to a smaller more private setting. It was a soundproof room with only him and I present. I gave him a few minutes to relax and then asked him to sing again. He stated he did not feel nervous or any stage fright when singing in this second setting. I recorded in the same fashion also focusing in on his throat with the camera, while checking and observing his throat.
After reviewing the footage of when he was feeling nervous singing in front of an audience, I concluded that his larynx was hardened, in a deep position and he displayed decreased movements.
In the private more relaxed setting where it was just the two of us, his larynx was not hard.
Shortly after concluding the first investigation I then examined two other subjects, to further my findings, who naturally have soft larynxes. Even when they stated they had felt nervous and displayed obvious stage fright before, during and after singing, their larynxes did not get hard. These people who naturally possess a soft larynx never showed such problems as, not being able to let out their voices due to stage fright or nervousness. The quality of the voice was not at their best but the physical aspects/changes surrounding the stage fright were not present.
From the results:
People who naturally have a soft larynx … do not display a hard larynx when experiencing stage fright singing in front of people, and are not easily influenced or intimidated to changing environments.
People who naturally have a hard larynx … easily get stage fright when singing in front of people, and are sensitive to drastic changes in their surrounding environment.
Keep in mind that, people who have a soft larynx do not have all have good quality singing voices. My study was not measuring quality, only physically measurable changes. In conclusion my studies have proven that those who have naturally soft larynxes are not easily affected or influenced physically to stage fright or extreme nervousness. Whereas, people with hard larynxes appear to be more sensitive and visually are effected.
Please work towards having flexibility with your larynx. In doing so, I’m sure that you can and will succeed in singing on the big stage without feeling nervous or showing signs of stage fright.
Having a ‘soft larynx’ means that have you have flexibility and can produce smooth movements quickly and easily. For many people having a soft larynx is easy and comes natural, but for others it can be attained/acquired through training and practice.

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