There are certain physical preparations performers do before shows, but mental preparation is just as important.
Before a show, I do the physical preparations, like stretching, tongue-twisters, or humming, but until recently, I was not mentally preparing myself for the show. I’ve realized how easy it is for me to get distracted on stage. Of course, there are the more common distractions: light/sound cues, an audience, or other actors. I found that my distractions come more from within rather than outside forces.
It is hard for me to “leave my baggage” at the door, no matter how small or big the problem might be. My distractions, of course, take me out of the scene and in some cases- lose my lines completely.
To combat this, I’ve begun making playlists for myself to keep my energy focused. I’ve noticed the music I listen to before a show needs to be upbeat, or I’ll lose my focus. However, it is different for another actor in this show, he likes slow, melodic pieces. It’s all about finding what works for you.
Along with music, I’ve been working very hard to put myself in the character’s position before I go on stage. I repeat the exposition of the play, where I’m at physically and emotionally in the scene and what my objectives are for each beat in the scene.
This technique has been helping, for the most part, I still find myself getting stuck inside my own thoughts. I’ve tried other techniques, such as, “finding zero,” a kind of meditative state, but it’s a little difficult for me to put into use. I feel that if I had time to sit by myself, completely alone it may be effective, but I don’t have that option right now, as I have two roommates.
Because my method of putting myself in the character’s world has had some effect, I plan to continue using and perfecting it.