It is inevitable to feel anxious before your gigs, especially if you’re a newbie. Anxiety can be a good thing if properly managed. It is just a reminder that you are about to perform in front of a passionate crowd who can’t wait to enjoy your beautiful performance. Even the biggest and best DJs have to deal with anxiety, so it is essential always to remember you are not alone in this. Use it as a reminder that you are living your dream. Nonetheless, let’s look at how to deal with anxiety as a DJ.
A lot of anxiety has to do with your mindset at the time. Your heart is pounding, sweat dripping down your face. And your throat seems very dry. You can barely speak. It’s normal to feel this way. If you can, try to laugh about it, tell yourself it is not the end of the world and the moment will soon pass. Try as much as possible to enjoy your performance. While performing, imagine you are a kid in your bedroom having fun. Just go with the flow. Don’t try too hard to impress.
Scared of messing it up.
Trust me. Your fans are tolerant. They won’t even know if you made a mistake or not. Just don’t stop playing. Keep the party going and adjust along the way. Always prepare for the best but expect anything. Be Flexible and open-minded when you play. Every famous DJ you can think of as made mistakes, and they continue to make mistakes. They never stop because no one notices or cares as long as they have fun.
Even if they notice, no one cares as long as they get a chance to jump around and have fun. So never stop the party, keep it going no matter what. It is not the end of the world, and it is not the end of your career. Just have fun with it.
Prepare well, but expect anything.
There’s no such thing as perfect preparation. No matter how much you prepare, some things are just out of your control. This is the industry you find yourself so deal with it. It is not always your fault. Just be ready to perform and have fun.
Remember your best performance.
This is a quick way to change your mood and get you feeling excited again. The thought of past great performances can elevate your mood. The same feeling you had during that performance will be activated. This is how you turn a moody vibe into an upbeat and excited one. If it is your first gig, think of a fond memory when playing.
Pick a target.
Another trick is to pick a target — usually someone upbeat and enjoying your performance. Feed off their energy by continually checking with them, keeping eye contact. You will be amazed at how this takes off the edge and keeps you relaxed. Imagine you are playing for them and do everything to impress them. Lockout everyone else and focus on your target. If you lose your target, pick the next one and continue with the process.
Take a deep breath.
If you feel like you are not connecting with the audience or your songs are not hitting the right spots, then take a deep breath. It might be because you feel like you are losing control or you feel like you are messing things up. Just pause, take deep breaths and continue. Anxiety causes shallow breathing leading to racing heartbeats. So slow things down and breathe slowly.
Anxiety will never disappear, unfortunately. Whether you are a pro or just a beginner dealing with anxiety is something that never goes away. Just learn to deal with it and use it to your benefit. That is what the greatest DJs have done over the years. They enjoy anxiety. It is their superpower. They can use it to take their game to the next level. Learn to do the same.