How to Cope with Performance Anxiety!
Believe it or not, I have performed magic for over 15 years, to thousands of groups of people and still to this day get performance anxiety. It is not an easy thing to cope with and can sometimes make the difference between doing the show, and chickening out at the last minute. I have developed a technique that I use to deal with this which I call "The Diving Board Effect." It is important to know that every person deals with anxiety in different ways, however it may be worth giving this option a try to see if it helps!
What is "The Diving Board Effect?"
Imagine you want to get into a swimming pool and the water is a bit cold. There are two ways people would normally get in; Either dip their toes in, get their feet wet, then eventually their legs and body OR to dive in head first and get it over with. Sure you may freeze your butt off initially, but you will quickly get used to the water temperature.
This same principle can be applied to your magic and how you approach people. Get yourself into the mindset that you need to get that first table out of the way, or to get the first trick in your set over with. Once you are in performance mode you will not be thinking about how worried you are anymore and will instead be focusing on your performance.
It is most important to understand however that you will not be able to do this overnight. Getting over anxiety is like training a muscle. It will only strengthen over time. The more you work on it, the easier it will be to perform for people!