The subject of stage fright has come up in recent postings (17 November 2002 onwards) on the "Memory" thread where contributors have talked about the role of "fear" in performance. Some useful points have been made in these postings.
Performance "fear" affects most people who perform in public, whether it is talking, acting, dancing, singing, or playing an instrument, usually in a solo capacity.
"Fear" on stage runs the whole range from "complete lack of" through a frisson of excitement, "nerves", to full-blown stage fright. Ordinary excitement and "nerves" before performing in public are normal and beneficial, and should generate the spark that fires up a cracking performance.
However, full-blown stage-fright is a real and serious problem because it results in a loss of control which is obvious to the audience, and has resulted in careers being ruined. A performer suffering at this level of stage-fright needs urgent help.
I’m sure we’d be grateful for advice on this problem from people who have experienced it first hand and overcome it, have seen others overcome it or helped them, or have useful anecdotes and advice on the matter.