Queen Latifah opened up about her fear of large crowds on Tuesday and revealed how she manages to overcome stage fright when she performs.
The rapper and songstress said she’s “done thousands of shows” throughout her decades-long career, but she always struggles with being on stage.
“Let me tell you something, all I know is I would be terrified to go onstage and it still happens to me to this day,” Latifah, 48, said during an interview on “The Tonight Show” Tuesday. “You know, it doesn't matter what I do, whether it's a speech or anything.”
She’s never managed to fully shake the fear, but her trick to “working the whole room” is to lock in on one friendly face in the audience until she begins to relax, she said.
“I just look out that first like 30 seconds of performing, I just lock into one person's face,” she said. “Any person who has like that look like ... they're open and smiling.
“I focus on them and then I just basically sing to that person until I start to relax. Then I can start working the whole room,” she added.
Latifah, who released her debut album in 1989, focuses more on her acting career now, but she still refers to music as her first love. She dreamed of becoming a professional singer ever since her first public performance in her grammar school’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
“When you go to Catholic school, you know everything's got to be fair,” she said. “There were like three Dorothys. One who did the first act, another Dorothy for the second act and then there was me. You know, the one who did not quite look so Dorothy-ish, but she could sing the hell out of ‘Home.’
“From that moment on, I kind of knew that this was something I wanted to do.”