“First of all, you have to be honest and acknowledge it. Admit to yourself, ‘I can play like crazy in my bedroom, but the moment I have to walk on stage I crap myself.’ Then you have to find a way of overcoming that. The first thing you gotta know is that the audience is not the judge and jury. They are not against you. The audience is with you. It’s hard to believe that when you’re terrified, but one of the best things that you can do is go out and say something like, ‘Hello. I’m nervous as Hell. Look at my hand. You should see the other one.’ Find a way of telling the audience that you’re gonna do your best but you’re very nervous. And you’ll find a surge of emotion will hit you from the audience, and it will make you feel a bit better. Practice being in front of an audience and it will slowly disappear.”
“Choose your songs wisely, and get out there and give ’em all you’ve got”
— Tommy Emmanuel on dealing with stage fright (from the July 2011 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine).