A career as a performer lends itself to feeding off of the attention you receive for singing, playing, writing, performing, or some combination of the four. It’s natural to let that need to feed off that attention fuel your desire and drive to perform.
But there will be times when the audience doesn’t connect with you, or there are technical issues with a venue. You may not be feeling well, or others on stage or in the session may be out of sorts.
This definitely interrupts the flow that keeps you inspired. But the impact of such mishaps and unfortunate circumstances can be diminished if you shift your focus from self-gratification to pleasing the audience.
Support Your Supporters + Fire Up Your Fans
Well, if it’s lame acoustics in a poorly designed venue, how in the world can you even consider having any possibility of being able to reach the audience, let alone please them? It will be a challenge, but one of the first things to do is shift your support to those that are supporting you. In other words, encourage others onstage with you by deciding to have a good time with what each of you is doing. This gets the focus off of the flaws and back to the cause for performing.
In every single performance situation, you are a communicator. If there are technical glitches or an under-appreciative audience, communicate a positive vibe by shifting your focus to boosting the confidence of those that support you while your collective gift is showcased.
Jam With Passion
If all else fails, erupt into a mini jam session. Do solo bits for each other, just to keep the energy and performance quality at the highest level possible. You want to keep yourself motivated by engaging your passion and love for what you bring to the stage or studio.
In situations where the venue or audience is a challenge, your primary goal is to perform, entertain, and deliver the goods. You don’t want to be thrown off track by interruptions. In fact, they can actually be used to help you focus, stretch, and endure with grace, patience, and commitment. So, stay motivated by focusing on those that support you as you continue to deliver the message of each song in your set.
From Few Gigs To No Pay
There will also be many times when there aren’t a lot of gigs, and those you get may not pay well, if at all. It’s still critical to keep yourself positively focused and motivated to persevere as you pursue your career. Even if it’s an audience of one, and that person is sleeping, play as if that individual will wake up tomorrow and spread the good news about your performance.
Right What’s Wrong
When you aren’t feeling well or things are going on that are emotionally troubling or distracting, you owe it to yourself, as a performer, to play through and press on because you are strengthened in that process. Whenever you face troubling, disappointing, or hurtful experiences with performance, rehearsal, travel, bookings – whatever – take time to examine the incident or circumstances. Determine what went wrong. Then look at these factors and ask which ones you had control over.
The ones that are beyond your control can only be handled by maintaining a positive, professional commitment to delivering the goods. If you waver from an upbeat attitude, you compromise the quality of your work. You negatively impact those that support you, those that work with you, and the attentive members of your audience.
You must revisit those things that went wrong or fell short that you could have changed. Then, a plan should be immediately put in place, should something like that ever happen in the future. It might be an equipment issue with cords and plugs or guitar strings. The solution there is simple. Always bring extras! If a venue maybe has hook-ups that might not work, think of your song set in terms of what pieces require the most minimal accompaniment in order to still be effective.
If room noise was a huge distraction, think of ways to be better prepared. Obviously, if you focus on the meaning of the songs you’re singing and the physicality of playing the notes and chords; you’re less likely to be impacted by an unruly crowd.
You can also rehearse with loud noise in the background and have a few friends over to distract while you perform. It will help your concentration. That concentration will help you stay motivated. In fact, they will feed off of each other.
Success Is A Motivator
One of the best rules to follow for staying motivated, is to motivate others. If you feel bad but know you have to rehearse, let your goal be to lift the spirits of those around you. If you have a Skype lesson with a Brett Manning Associate, but you just feel like rescheduling, keep your appointment and let your goal be to please your coach and leave them encouraged by your willingness to tough it out.
Let them know specifically how they helped make your lesson worthwhile. Again, it’s that that attitude of gratitude, that act of sharing a plate full of grateful, that will go a long way to getting you on track and helping you stay the course that leads to your singing success.