Whenever you audition, rehearse, get a studio gig, play out, or perform, make sure that with each situation you have a clear overriding objective or several to meet. The point of the objective is for you to be able to gauge what was gained from the experience. It can tell you what you need to work on, what you might have overlooked, what might have had no relevance, or it just might tell you that you’re better than you thought.
One of the most frustrating gigs you’ll ever get is playing a venue where there are others seeking the attention and approval of industry movers and shakers. This type of audience, when giving you their attention, tends to be more critical than others. So be prepared when you’re met with blank stares, yawns, or what seems to be disinterest. Not everyone will behave this way, but there will most likely be a higher percentage present.
Above The Buzz + Chatter
This industry-based audience will often be more interested in looking around to see who’s there such as managers, A & R, and maybe key musicians. They’re also more likely to be focused primarily on networking and not on showing support. So the chatter in the room might be at a higher nuisance level.
This kind of audience tends to fill the house when you do an industry showcase. It’s the nature of many seeking approval to map out a plan for working the room. Just know it’ll happen. Put it out of your mind. Stay focused on delivering the message of each song as naturally and effectively as rehearsed. That’s why it’s key to have clear objectives in mind that will help you get through and effectively evaluate your performance.
But please understand that many in the audience will be supportive because they share your passion and understand your goals.
Always have a set of objectives and a key goal for each rehearsal. This will keep you on track and assure you that you’re making progress. It will let you know what needs the most attention, and will help you plan your rehearsals for optimum progress and results.
Be The Pro You’d Like To Know
When gigging out and doing session or studio work let your professionalism and respect for others be a primary goal. Leave the studio a better place or at least as neat and clean as you found it. Be gracious, supportive, patient, and cooperative. You’ll get more bookings that way.
But if you act out, lose your cool, or make a mess, you might be history. Remember that news of a negative nature spreads ten times faster than good news. Think about how you’re more likely to write a letter of complaint about poor service received in a place of business than you are to write a complimentary letter. You expect to be treated well. So treat others with the grace and supportive service you expect to receive.
When it comes to auditions, be courteous, attentive, alert, supportive, and grateful. Then, when it’s your time to shine, light a fire they’ll never forget. If you’re a pain in the audition process it may cast a shadow of doubt that cancels out your killer chops and ability to grab an audience. Be the incredible entertainer with that humble heart of service that is often in short supply.
Specific Is Terrific
Set goals beyond getting the gig, winning over the audience, or making a good impression. Make your goals as specific as poassible. It could be making sure there’s consistency in your mix, or it might be something like resisting the urge to punch parts of songs where you need to simply back off a bit.
Choose goals that will keep you focused and moving forward regardless of the venue, circumstances, connections, or audience. You want to go home feeling like an accomplished performer that is at peace with where they’re headed on their journey to success in the music industry.