Taylor Swift is preparing to take the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday. The superstar will perform her latest hit single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” from her highly anticipated new studio album, Red.
Although Swift has performed on countless award shows in the past, she admits she still gets pre-performance jitters prior to taking the stage.
“You get really nervous,” Swift tells MTV News. “It’s a mixture of all these emotions of excitement, of nerves of planning, of making sure that you have enough rehearsal time, know all your blocking … ’cause the thing about the VMAs is, the people that help put together the performances are honestly some of the best people you have ever worked with and they put together these huge, vast, massively entertaining performances and you have to make sure that you are ready to go onstage and face the entire world of music fans that are watching that show.”
This year marks Swift’s third VMAs performance. She made her debut in 2009 with a performance of “You Belong With Me” from the streets of New York City, and in 2010, she sent a message to Kanye West (who infamously interrupted her VMA acceptance speech the year before) with a performance of “Innocent.” Even though one would think it would be ‘old hat’ by now, Swift still feels the pressure.
“I get nervous — really, really, really nervous,” she said. “Because I think that there’s a point where you feel like ‘OK, this is pretty close to cruise control; we’re on the stage, I’m walking, my legs are working right, it’s fine .You’re not shaking, you’re great, everything’s cool.’ Like, you can get yourself there mentally, but I definitely get nervous before I go on especially if it’s like an awards show that’s huge and important like the VMAs.”
The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards will air live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT.