Katy Perry is no stranger to live performances. She’s headlined four tours since 2009 and this year will have her own Vegas residency.
But despite more than a decade of performing in front of some of the largest audiences in the world, Katy has yet to fully shake her pre-performance jitters.
But Katy doesn’t let her nerves stand in her way. Instead, she relies on beta-blockers to soothe her anxiety and help her bring out that bold, confident stage presence we all know her for.
“I have to take beta-blockers [before each show], I get so nervous,” she’s said in earlier interviews.
Katy notes the competitive nature of music is a primary source of her jitters, saying:
”I think I have to get through this; I can’t let these people down, but mostly I can’t let myself down. I’ve been given a great opportunity and there are 500 bitches behind me who will snatch my weave off my head if I don’t kick-ball-change through this two-hour show”.
She’s careful to point out that she never mixes beta-blockers with alcohol, another common aid for stage fright many performers turn to.
Katy is far from being the only big name to keep beta-blockers close by for pivotal moments. Pop star Shawn Mendes openly shared his history with anxiety and his use of beta-blockers while performing live on stage in 2019.
Comedians Whitney Cummings and Bobby Lee have also discussed how beta-blockers have helped them remain calm during auditions, something Whitney notes is “a different skill from acting”.
Beta-blockers like Propranolol are well-known in the performance world for being an effective treatment against performance anxiety.
The way it works is simple:
It blocks the body from producing norepinephrine, what most of us know as adrenaline. Without adrenaline, you’re less likely to experience things like rapid heart rate, flushing, and trembling. And without all of those symptoms distracting you, you’re less likely to feed into your nerves and instead stay focused and calm.
In addition to beta-blockers, Katy has recently shared that she’s added meditation to her pre-performance routines to help manage the stress of performing.