Overcoming Stage Fright

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Getting on stage and singing in front of a few hundred people. It's not something most people would feel comfortable doing. It was most certainly questioned by my friends and family when I, a shy, quiet, introvert, decided I wanted to do that very thing. I even questioned it myself. I have extreme stage fright, but anyone who has seen my band Corvus play would never know it. I hide it well. I always have.

In school, I got very high marks and related and befriended my teachers more than my peers. This led to my teachers making me be the one to read out loud to the class, administer the re-take test to my classmates and give presentations…and I loathed it. I was definitely an outcast in school, with my shy, quiet demeanor being taken as being a jerk. The only time I'd really talk was if I was given one of these tasks by a teacher.

I was also very much into athletics when I was younger, excelling at basketball. This is where the idea of a band entered my head. The team work. I was the leader of the teams I played on. I would change, and be very vocal, almost a different person. Even though I led the teams, I very much understood, I couldn't do it without my teammates. Everyone had a role to play, and when I was approached by a teammate who was learning to play drums, to give the guitar a try, I was hooked from the first time we ran through a Metallica song. What was supposed to be me being a guitar player in the corner, evolved into the front man I am today.

My friend got tired of playing Metallica, so he said I needed to write originals. I loved to write short stories, so I took on the challenge and started writing music. That wasn't good enough. He wanted vocals. The group we had didn't have anyone who was willing to sing, but I was so addicted to playing music, I stepped up out of fear of losing this fun "hobby". I was awful at singing, but I liked it, especially crafting melodies to lyrics. It was then I had to face my biggest fear. They wanted to play live. I wanted to stay in the garage.

That first show was a nightmare. Our bass player didn't learn the songs so I had to take bass duties and vocals. I must have gotten sick five times before we played. I wore a hole in the floor with all my pacing. Our guitarist stopped in the middle of a song because he messed up, screaming loudly, alerting the only two bar flies of our existence, not counting the five friends we got to go watching us, in my opinion, make fools of ourselves. After all of that, I was even more sold on this idea. Our five friends loved it. That whole team mentality kicked in and brought all of us together even more, and we learned a lot from that first performance.

After hundreds of shows since that first performance, I still get nervous when I take the stage. My hands shake, I feel nauseous and I pace all over the place. Once the lights dim, and that first note to our staple opener "One Man Army" kicks in, Clark Kent becomes Superman. I tell myself, "I'm the one on stage and who people are here to see". It's my job to give everyone a great, entertaining show. I have an amazing band up there with me, who are more than likely, just as nervous as I am. They're my friends, my family, and they trust me to lead them up on stage. I'm getting to do what I love with the people I love. That makes all those fears melt away.

After the performance, I go back to being the shy kid from all those years ago, not believing all those people enjoyed what we'd done. It's the best part though, and worth all the "stage fright" symptoms. Getting to meet the fans is the greatest thing about our job. So if you see Corvus for the first time, and I seem like a ball of testosterone on stage, I am. Off stage though, I'm a quiet, shy guy who loves what he does, so come say hi and I'll tell you some really crazy show stories that don't involve my strange change to get over my stage fright.

Brock Brown is the lead vocalist for Arizona metal band Corvus. They have toured nationally with Trapt, Mushroomhead, American Head Charge and Hed P.E., and just completed a tour with Wayne Static of Static X. They've recorded 6 full-length albums in 5 years, the most recent "Never Forget" was released January 2013.

You can connect with David and the rest of Corvus at www.corvusaz.com

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