Oct 02

Nervousness, shyness, anxiety, stage fright

On RTE’s ‘Nationwide’ programme broadcast on Friday 27th September 2013, Jimmy MacCarthy in his interview said that though he had been cripplingly shy, “I can perform without a problem now.” He attributed this to his experience of the Alexander Technique.

I also had the same experience shortly after starting Alexander lessons. As well as resolving my stage fright, the lessons sorted out my breathing and pitch problems when I was singing.

You can view Jimmy MacCarthy’s list of current tour dates on

A number of performers have found lessons in the Alexander Technique in their career including Lesley Garret, a classical singer, Sting, a popular musician and actors Kevin Kline and William Hurt among others.

Aldous Huxley, the writer was perhaps one of FM Alexander’s most famous pupils. Here’s a telling excerpt from Michael Bloch’s biography of F. M. Alexander.

“He (Aldous Huxley) was on the verge of a total breakdown when he began a course of lessons with F.M. in November 1935. The results were dramatic: within one month, he was able to overcome shyness and disability to make a public speech for the first time in years; within three months, he was able to finish his long-stalled book. On 21 February 1936, his wife wrote to his American publisher: ‘He (Alexander) has certainly made a new & recognisable person of Aldous, not only physically but mentally and therefore morally. Or rather, he has brought out, actively, what we, Aldous’s best friends, know never came out either in the novels or with strangers.’ ”

A testament to the unlocking of the writer’s potential as a whole person.

The book is published by Little, Brown.

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