Actor Tips for Nerves: Good Nerves VS. Bad Nerves

We’re gonna talk about nerves. Our staff gets asked all the time, “how do I get rid of my nerves?”I’ve got some bad news for you, the nerves are never going to go away. You’re always going to be nervous. What we’re gonna do today is we’re gonna talk about how to handle those nerves.There’s a way to transmute those nerves into something that can be useful instead of something that will hold you back. Here’s the deal there is such a thing as good nerves and bad nerves.


Let’s talk about the bad nerves first. Bad nerves come when you are unprepared, when you’re not confident because you haven’t earned the confidence that it takes to be good in what you’re doing. Whatever the case may be if you’re not confident because you didn’t do the work you’re gonna have bad nerves and those bad nerves are going to be in your head. They will weigh you down and make you feel anxious and nervous and that’s not gonna be good. Examples of bad nerves:

  1. When you didn’t memorize as well as you should have,
  2. When you really didn’t do the work for the commercial to break down the character before you walked in,
  3. If you didn’t research the part


Now on the other side we’ve got good nerves. Good nerves come from me just caring. They come from wanting to do a good job. Because I want them to do good because I’m trying my best and I want to be good I’ll be nervous. Those nerves are good nerves. Examples of good nerves:

  1. I really want this project to be a success because, I want the movie to be great
  2. When I do the commercial I want the client to be successful. I want them to make money.


The goal here is to transmute the bad nerves into good nerves. How do we do that? This goes back to thought life. A lot of what we do in life and acting all boils down to thought life. What am I thinking? What am I telling myself before I walk into the room? If we aren’t careful, even the thoughts from good nerves, can turn into something negative. The thought of wanting to do well can get you in your own head and make you nervous. I can’t speak so instead of saying to myself things like oh man everybody’s here and they’re watching me and they want me to do a really good job and don’t say that to yourself and don’t even say I’m nervous so I’m going to ask you like how you feeling don’t say I’m nervous say I’m excited the excitement and nerve are the same feeling on the inside. It’s a first date and you’ve got those first date jitters. That feeling inside your stomach there’s a butterfly in there, you’re excited to see the person. That’s an excitement right? The butterflies… well why aren’t you nervous. well I am nervous. I guess it’s the same feeling it’s just what I’m associating to this my association to it is positive not negative therefore instead of calling it nervous I call it excitement If you can take good nerves, which are earned just I want to do good I don’t have any bad nerves that come from me lying or trying to be fake or I haven’t done the work get rid of those completely and that’s in your control


Take these good nerves and you transmute them by just associating something different and using a different psychology. It’s not I’m nervous, it’s I’m excited, I can’t wait to get on the stage. I have this energy inside me that’s just beaming to get out that type of talk inside your head is gonna change the way you attack the stage, change the way you look and feel in front of the camera. That’s where you’re gonna bring in some of that confidence. The cool thing about that is then, the nerves actually will go away. They go away once you get out on the stage. Once you have actually started the piece the nerves drop and they disappear because they were good nerves in the first place and you overcame those nerves by doing the work. You have the confidence to back it up. You told yourself the right thing and once you get started the nerves go away. It’s just like jumping out of an airplane. I’ve done this before, one time in my life. It was amazing, but you’re wound up before you get out of the plane and you’re so scared about jumping. The worst part about the plane is actually on the way up that’s the truth. Once you actually get out of the plane you’re floating and you don’t feel that butterfly in your stomach. It doesn’t feel like a roller Coaster. A lot of people think oh it’s gonna it like it is terrifying feeling the whole way down it’s not like that. The second you jump out of the plane you already feel great. You’re just looking around and it’s the most euphoric feeling in the entire world. The nerves go away completely. Here’s the most terrifying thing in the world I can think of and the second I overcome my fear the nerves go away. You have that same power at every audition and every single day. Now, go out and use it. Thanks for reading. Follow us on social for more actor tips and personal development content.