I talked about pre-show nerves in this post from last month… a quick revisit (or a look at one of the reblogs) might be worthwhile.
A little fear is a good thing, but if you’re getting super sick/stressed all the time, that’s concerning.
Someone told me that when fighting nerves, the worst thing to do is be like “Don’t get nervous!” since that has the opposite effect. Instead, you could try and make yourself more anxious, maybe playing in on whatever it is you’re worried about (and digging for an answer to what that is, specifically, would be helpful).
I do this with anxiety and it’s helped - it puts things in perspective for me - but your mileage may vary. If it makes things worse, don’t do it anymore.
Otherwise, I dunno… A lot of people get it into their head that performances are pass/fail opportunities, which really sucks. We get limited to trying to pass/not trying to fail, and that’s not what improv or comedy or art is about at all. It’s the process.
If you instead enter a show with the mindset of it being a chance to create and explore with your team (with the audience along for the ride), it changes things from, say, a test with right/wrong answers to an open canvas to paint on.
I hope some of this was helpful, but I think the cure will be unique to your situation. If we ever meet in person, we could talk about this for a while. Seriously.
Anyone else have any suggestions?