Jimmy Fallon Has a New Show and a New Health Regimen
The new Late Night host talks about being funny, being fit, and dealing with stage fright.
What causes stage fright? continued...
Caroline Hirsch, owner of the legendary Caroline's Comedy Club in New York
City, where Fallon "cut his teeth before he hit it big," says, "Most comedians
get that rush of adrenaline before going on stage -- it's part of the process.
Jimmy did a lot of TV and movies [before taking the Late Night job],
which could explain his nerves now. If you're doing concerts and personal
appearances before live audiences all the time -- well, the more you do, the
easier it gets.
"He was on the road a lot earlier this year, and it's paid off," she adds.
"He's so charming, endearing, and at ease on his show."
Dealing with stage fright
Whether you're a stand-up comedian or simply standing up to address a crowd
of your peers, speaking in public can send a shiver down your spine -- and make
your hands shake, voice crack, heart race, or body break into a cold sweat. The
good news? There are methods you can learn to lessen these symptoms or even
stop them altogether.
Before taking the stage: If you're prone to sweating it out, be
prepared: Dress in loose-fitting garments or a sleeveless shirt to prevent this
particular symptom from going public.
Practice deep breathing (inhaling slowly through the nose, exhaling
through the mouth) before your presentation. And, most important, prep yourself
for success even if you should panic. In other words, give yourself permission
to experience a quivering voice or butterflies in your stomach. "It's a bit of
a mind game with yourself," says Witt, "but it can work. When these symptoms
appear during your speech, you've already mentally prepared yourself for them,
so you simply plow through. And the symptoms lessen as you relax."
While on stage: Dry mouth is a common symptom of stage fright. Bring
a glass of water with you to the podium whenever possible. Also, volume makes a
difference in how your audience reacts to you. You might consider skipping a
microphone because speakers who go without are forced to project loudly, which
requires deeper breathing. As a result, you relax much sooner. (If you do use a
microphone, be conscious of breathing slowly and deeply.) If your hands are
shaking, remember: Few in the audience will notice. Simply fold them, hide them
behind your back, or place them on the podium.
After your performance: Listen to feedback of your presentation. "If
your audience praised you afterward, or if they laughed a lot during it, you
know you've done a good job," says Witt, "and you realize your fears were
irrational. This will help prepare you for the next time you have to do
Fallon's LASIK surgery
Fallon is nothing short of serious when it comes to doing whatever it takes
to ensure the success of his new venture. He even got LASIK. "Yeah, the vision
thing has been a problem for years," he admits. "I can only see up-close, so I
decided to go for it." And? "It's worked out great!"