I'v been doing a bunch of searching on Craigslist lately. Searching for gigs, backup vocalist opportunities, etc. I came upon the following and I think my response could be useful for some of you out there.

I am a 25 year old female with a beautiful voice... only problem is, I get stage fright and get all shaky when I sing in front of new people! I'm okay singing at karaoke bars, but anywhere out of that environment, I'm too nervous and it takes a minute for me to warm up to everyone. I would really like to get over this so I can do something big and take advantage of the amazing talent I have. I would love to join a band but I have to stop being so nervous.
My response:
Mostly I can say practice makes perfect. Keep on going to the same karaoke bar to get yourself comfortable with the atmosphere. This may also get yourself a regular following. Learn a couple of different songs to increase your repertoire. Once your confidence improves, move onto a different karaoke bar and see what happens. Once those butterflies fly away, try an open mic or jam night...pretty much the same as a karaoke bar, but with a live band and no lyrics. Search the Metrotimes and Real Detroit...heck Craigslist advertises open mic nights all the time. A couple of other pieces of advice. If you just can't take the audience, you may consider working as a studio vocalist or recording artist. Maybe schedule some studio time just to see how you feel in a "vocal booth". You can also try to get your voice out there via YouTube. That way you can record what you do into a cell phone privately, but ultimately your audience is unlimited. I would recommend getting a vocal trainer as well. You may know that you are a great singer, but if you have a coach, then they get to know where you can improve on techniques to guarantee better quality in your voice for more confidence. Most important. YOU need to know as a singer, that your PERFORMANCE sometimes is more important than your singing. There are plenty of performers that may not sing the correct note, or go flat, but man...do they show some soul and emotion in every note they sing! As opposed to a singer with an amazing voice, but just stands there. A singer is not much without someone to hear it, so take that ego out of the box and sing for someone else's enjoyment. One more thing, even the best vocalists get stage fright. And that is a good thing. Most use that energy to to create a better performance. I believe in you!