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Playing With: Performance Anxiety
Basic Trope: A character is unable to use their abilities under pressure.
  • Straight: Bob plays guitar, but plays badly in front of a group of people.
  • Exaggerated: In front of a group, Bob can't even hold the guitar right.
  • Downplayed: Bob tends to miss a few notes in front of a large group.
  • Justified:
    • Bob has an anxiety disorder that keeps him from thinking straight under pressure.
    • Bob is performing in front of an audience for the very first time.
  • Inverted: Bob plays fine in front of people but has difficulty playing while he's alone.
  • Subverted: Bob is nervous backstage, but once he gets on stage, he starts playing perfectly.
  • Double Subverted: ...except he forgot what song he was supposed to play and started playing the wrong song.
  • Parodied: In front of a group of people, Bob doesn't even recognize what a guitar is.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob's playing skill differs depending on who he's performing for.
  • Averted: The first time he ever performs on stage, Bob plays a flawless gig.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: "As soon as I get out there, I'm going to screw up badly."
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: ???
  • Discussed: "I've tried to get over my stage fright, but I still get jittery."
  • Conversed: "You know, Bob, usually people in your position don't do well in front of an audience."
  • Deconstructed: Bob's sucky playing causes him to fall out with his fans, and eventually his friends, when they start thinking he's just a cocky braggart.
  • Reconstructed: Bob learns to overcome his stage fright and works harder at playing his songs, so that eventually, he lands another gig that he completes flawlessly and regains the respect of everyone around him.

Back to Performance Anxiety

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