Skip to main content

Musical Theatre: Building Self Confidence

I joyfully strive to create ripples of inspiration to empower people to be winners of life through writing, life coaching, and healing.

Can participating in a musical theatre build self confidence? As an amateur artist, I can definitely, absolutely, certainly say “Yes!” Musical theatre is a form of theatre that uses music, songs, dance and spoken dialogue. The combination of singing, dancing and acting experienced in musical theatre is one of the wonderful ways a person can build self confidence.

Let's see how musical theatre builds self confidence.

Honing Your Skills and Talents

It's possible to build self-confidence while continually improve your craft. Talented people work very hard to perfect their skills. Writers consistently write, athletes practice daily and musical theatre artists rehearse over and over again.

As we all know, musical theatre is done live. For any show done live, you only get one chance. The director cannot shout “cut” if we mess up and redo the whole scene. It is very crucial then that all artists know their cues, lines, memorize their songs and dances by heart. And the only way to do that is to constantly rehearse and practice.

So if you want to have confidence in what you do, never stop improving and growing. The more proficient and skilled you are, the more confidence you will have with yourself.

Facing Your Fears

Fear is one of the major blocks to self confidence. Fear of making mistakes, fear of looking like a fool, fear of facing a crowd, fear of being judged, not being good enough and not being accepted. Whatever fears we have, facing it head on is the greatest thing we can do to build our self confidence.

I used to be really scared when I am in front of people. In high school, I remember reading a speech in front of our speech teacher who happened to be very strict. As I stood there in front of the microphone, my knees trembled, my stomach was filled with fluttering butterflies and while I held the paper, my hands shook like crazy.

And even if I seem to hate being in front, it seems I was drawing all opportunities to be in front. Groan. I participated in school plays, I was one of the cheerleaders, I was asked to join the group to perform a song or dance number during school events.  In family gatherings, it was always like that too.  Did the fear go away instantly? No! It was my constant companion.  The grandest thing I ever did was not say “no” to all these opportunities! 

Behind the scenes: I silently waited for the Taiwan make up artists to do their magic

Behind the scenes: I silently waited for the Taiwan make up artists to do their magic

When I joined the amateur musical theatre group under Director Daisy Ba-ad, the first thing she said to me when I sang before her was “stop criticizing yourself.” You know what? That was the best advice anyone could have given me. When I stopped criticizing myself, I discovered that this great fear that often paralyzed me packed his bags and left. Do I still get scared? Of course…but I no longer beat myself up for it. And I’ve made such progress that I can honestly say, “I’ve conquered a lot of my fears through musical theater” under the mentorship of a wonderful director.

If I, who is such a scaredy cat, can do it, so can you. Overcoming your fears can build your self confidence.

Being Alert and Proactive

On stage, we develop alertness and proactively respond to situations. When things occur like a co-actor forgets his prop or his lines, the microphone conks out or somebody is injured, there is no time to analyze or complain. One simply has to respond positively to a given situation. We are trained to continue and more often, the audience doesn’t even know what happened.

When you are performing, one also has to be mindful and be in the present moment. In The Wiz musical play, I remembered in one show I allowed worry to flutter in my mind. The moment I did that, I forgot the lines in my song! I quickly recovered but that taught me a lesson on mindfulness and being in the now. Being alert and proactive in coping with life gives you inner confidence and strength.

Character Building

Most of our experiences build our character one way or the other. This really only truly works if you choose to use your experiences to build your character. I’ve become aware of how musical theatre does that. The cast and crew learn discipline, responsibility, and accountability. If you sing, you must be disciplined enough to vocalize, take care of your voice, memorize your lines. If you dance, you must be disciplined to know your steps and execute those steps perfectly. You must be responsible enough to warm up and exercise for flexibility and endurance. We learn to be accountable for our actions.

Scroll to Continue

Aside from that, we also learn to be prompt and committed to our craft. Creativity is highly encouraged. We learn to work as a team and support each other instead of competing. All these traits make you feel good about yourself; thus, increasing your value and builds your self-confidence.

Willing to Learn and Grow

Musical theatre challenges your willingness to keep on learning and growing. The workshops that were conducted allowed us to step out of the box and discover the things we could do. We expanded our comfort zone and tried new things. The more we allowed ourselves, the more exciting and fun things unfolded in our lives.

One Last Note:

A self-confident person is easily spotted in a crowd. He/she has self-confidence when she exhibits willingness to take risks, courageous enough to try to not be afraid of making mistakes or owning up mistakes, accountable for his actions instead of blaming others, accepts compliments and criticisms graciously and is not defensive. All of this I learned in my experiences inside and outside of musical theatre. If you want to build self-confidence, use all your experiences to make you a better and effective person.

You are a work in progress!


Susette Horspool from Pasadena CA on October 11, 2012:

I totally agree with the message of this hub. I sing, but haven't been in a musical, although I did help on the sidelines when my father produced college shows. However, I did take some improvisational theater workshops, and it can do the same thing.

There's something about borrowing other people's lines and having them borrow yours, and then blending them into a skit that is very empowering. You feel supported in your creativity, even as you support others. Like you're a team. And the feeling extends out into regular life. Thanks for writing this, ripplemaker.

Jess Killmenow from Nowheresville, Eastern United States on October 08, 2009:

My wife and daughters are all heavy into theatre, especially musical theatre. Great article! :)

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on October 08, 2009:

Hi, Michelle. Thank you for sharing your experiences, fears, and career as an actress. I once joined a musical theater group when I was in seventh grade and it was a disaster. I only did so to meet girls (my best friend lured me into it). I was able to get a date out of it--out of pity no less :(

Despite my experience, I did learn that I was actually decent at public speaking, just not public acting. Thank you so much for this. You certainly have a passion and talent that separates you from most of us.

Charia Samher on September 19, 2009:

I remember having a very low self esteem as a teenager especially during my high school days until my college years, unlike you I never participated in anything because of that. I'm still battling it down until now and I may say I have improved a lot. But I have never tried musical theater. Stage fright might eat me up LOL!

But I have something to share about "FACING YOUR FEAR". Years ago I made up my mind that driving was not for me. I'm a nervous freak. My brother was teaching me how to drive but I told him that all my blood was running into my head every time I'll start the engine and I can't concentrate anymore. Recently it seems that I don't have a choice but to learn it. I have faced my fear and I became more comfortable. And of course I owe it to the one above, I've been praying about it every night! =)

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on September 15, 2009:

Mayhmong: Try it! You may just love the experience :) Thank you for reading this one!

Adam B: Thanks for the visit :)

Adam B on September 15, 2009:

Very good hub, I agree with everything you say in it.

mayhmong from North Carolina on September 14, 2009:

What an inspirational story of facing our own fear. I feel like I can just jump on stage too. I knew you had a lot of talent in you. Thanks for sharing this.

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on September 14, 2009:

Hi Dottie, you would have laughed out loud when I came out from the stage wings and belted out my witchy laughter. I even surprised myself. Hahahahah I love what you wrote about facing experiences positively is a wonderful way to chase the fears away. :)

Taichichuan: Being in the rhythm or in the flow is a beautiful way of letting go of one's fears in recognition of what is. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. :)

Redelf: Hi Elle, that lesson onstage reminded me of that truth clearly of being in the now. I still remember it today. Thanks for being here :)

RedElf from Canada on September 14, 2009:

Thanks so much, michelle, for sharing this. I love your articles and really needed to be uplifted today. It is so easy to get drawn into the negative side of life events. Your comment about staying in the moment is SO TRUE. Thanks for the reminder - keep spreading ripples!


Taichichuan on September 14, 2009:

There is a legend in martial arts : a truth seeker after tough trials finally arrives in a little room in front of a mirror... I think you get the picture.

Great hub,anyway. I dare to add something : the rhythm. As long as you are in the rhythm nothing can happen to you.

Dottie1 from MA, USA on September 14, 2009:

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for sharing more of yourself under the limelight. How happy and confident do you look in the picture with mic in hand, not the Michelle I envisioned just a couple years ago when I became a friend and fan.

Building self confidence is a great way to chase your fears away and I agree that your everyday experiences when faced positively is a good place to start.

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on September 13, 2009:

Hi Tony, those words comfort a lot! As to your singing skills, no problemo! You can always have concerts in the shower Hahahahah I do that a lot! *wink* Thanks for dropping by. :)

tony0724 from san diego calif on September 13, 2009:

Michelle you look adorable In your costume . Your last paragraph reminde me of an old saying " Show me a person who has not made a mistake , and you will see a person who has not done anything ! " My dancing skills are decent , but I cannot carry a tune with a shopping cart !

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on September 13, 2009:

shamel: Now you are making me *blush* LOL

emohealer: Thank you for reading this hub and being able to connect these wonderful lessons to our very lives :)

Sioux Ramos from South Carolina on September 13, 2009:


A beautiful article about the very experiences I am embracing...the musical theatre image to enhance the experiences is so very perfect, what a great place to build and experience these things. Facing fears to overcome them, creating strengh and inner confidence for account-ability, respons-ability and gratitude. We are all wonderful, thanks for sharing these simple ways we can learn to recognize and enhance those things inside and let them out!

shamelabboush on September 12, 2009:

You look so cute there Ate :)

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on September 12, 2009:

Thanks lyricsingray :)

lyricsingray on September 12, 2009:

Thanks for sharing, really great advice! Stop criticizing ourselves :-)

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on September 12, 2009:

Hi Jill, care to join a musical theatre? LOL

Shamelabboush: Hahahahaaha yes that is me! First time I became a blonde belting out a witchy laughter :) I used to get scared too of being on stage. Thanks Shamel for dropping by :)

shamelabboush on September 12, 2009:

That's you holding the mic up there? It looks so nice??? As for me, I'd never dare go on stage, brrrrrr, that freaks me out :)

jill of alltrades from Philippines on September 12, 2009:

Hi Michele,

That was a great read! Wow!

You are right, we usually are our own worst enemy. We just have to learn to accept ourselves and start believing.

Thank you for sharing!

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on September 12, 2009:

Hi Marie: It is a joy having you around to share thoughts about life experiences. I treasure your presence. :)

It's funny that many of us share that common thing -- how quickly we criticize ourselves. But it's okay, we are learning to be gentle more and more, right? LOL Many thanks and lots of love to you! :)

VioletSun from Oregon/ Name: Marie on September 12, 2009:

Ripplemaker: When I see that you have published a hub, I know I am in for a lesson and lift up.

I am very hard on myself at times, sometimes feel I haven't done enough, yet, many have a perception, I have done a lot, which shows I am critical of myself at times. Daisy's advice is one I needed to hear.

Thank you for writing this wonderful article, I resonated with your commets on self responsibility. I will read it again! ((((Hugs)))

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on September 12, 2009:

Hi dayzeebee, thank you for being my mentor. Your ability to train people have helped a lot in building character. Thank you very much! :) Hugs...

dayzeebee from Cebu, Philippines on September 12, 2009:

Thumbs up dear Ripplemaker. You have expressed yourself clearly and I know that if given the chance you can even write a whole book about how theater builds character.LOL. Continue to share your life and more people will surely be inspired. Hugs:)

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on September 12, 2009:

Hi Kent, we usually are our own worst enemy Hahahahha And it is good to laugh about it now that I've made friends with myself. Wow, it's nice to meet another singer/songwriter. Go Kent Go! Allow yourself to fly. Keep me posted when you do share your music to the world. Love and blessings and thanks for your positive feedback. :)

Kent Merritt from Tulsa, OK on September 11, 2009:

Excellent hub, ripplemaker! I'm beginning to appreciate your username more everytime I read one of your hubs. ;)

"Stop criticizing yourself" is probably the best advice I've read in quite a while. Thanks for including that! I'm a struggling singer/songwriter and a big part of keeping me from sharing my music more is that I'm my own worst enemy. I think most creative people are, but you hit the nail on the head with staying positive and overcoming the fear. Really good hub!

Related Articles