Monday, May 16, 2011

Dont make them wait

Audiences have to be journeyed throughout the sets we deliver onstage and they are not prepared to wait for the next song, they want it to all just happen for them nurturing their mood all the way.  It is up to the Artist to do that! Transitions from one song to another need to be designed with the design of the set list so everyone knows where they are heading, Artist and Audience.
Practice and Rehearse!  I don’t know how many times I say these words to the people I work with.  Nothing just happens there has to be a plan in place in order for things to run smoothly.  It is unfair to the people watching us if they have to wait continuously throughout our sets.  They are there to be ENTERTAINED.
From the beginning you must realise that it is not all about you, it is about the audience. Everything you do from the stage is for your audience. Without an audience you have no place to go. You want the audience to journey with you.
You need to establish and maintain a relationship with your audience. Let’s refer to your relationship with your audience as a marriage. You are not just dating them you are married to them, they are part of your family.
You are the director of events for the duration of your performance. Your responsibilities are to love, lead, understand and surprise the audience from the time you walk on to the stage.
Your audiences become your fan base, look after the relationship, it is one of your most valuable assets as a performer.

We are constantly going over and over the songs but how many times to we implement the transitions that are required throughout a set.  Tom Jackson’s fundamentals.  Set design and delivery.  We need to remain connected with our audience all the while throughout the performance.  If we continually create momentary voids within our sets then we disconnect and pretty soon we lose the attention of our audience.  Learn how to maintain the connection.
Firstly I must mention that Transitions are like any other component of The Performance. We need to go over and over them finding a comfort zone that allows for our natural personality to grow and become spontaneous when we are performing.  We need to feel comfortable about ourselves and connect with the audience throughout the journey of the sets.  Easier said than done when we are first beginning our careers.
We suffer nerves, we suffer self consciousness, we suffer fear and all the other little thoughts that cross our minds as we walk onto the stage but they can be overcome and hidden with CONFIDENCE.  The core of confidence is KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE DOING. How do we get to the stage of doing it with our eyes closed or our hands tied? WE PRACTICE, WE WOODSHED AND WE APPLY COMPONENTS  in the THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PERFORMANCE! There are no tricky little shortcuts to get you there.  Practice, Rehearse, Perform in that order.  Tick the boxes, know that you have done it.
Tom talks about DEAD AIR and I think that all performers have experienced the feeling from the stage.  Being aware that you “The Artists” have created it is a plus. It means you can find ways of fixing it and Tom’s teachings cover this component in depth.
Dead Air makes you panic deflecting from your performance because your mind is elsewhere.  It is not a good feeling and if you are not aware of it happening you need to reassess your attitude towards your audience and yourself.  Dead Air puts an audience on edge they become unsure, their connection has been disrupted.
We start with a VISION, then we create GOALS, we implement THE PLAN and we diligently tick the boxes.  It’s the only way, no short cuts or substitutes.  It is hard work and often we feel defeated but perseverance prevails in all cases.  Woodshedding the only thing that gets results.  The over and over after the plans are in place.  It is exactly the same with the performance.  You need to learn and practice the WHAT TO DO in between songs.  Some talking, someone else talking, no talking etc..  There are strategies and over time by being prepared with scripted ideas your own personality kicks in and takes over making for an even more personal experience for your audiences.
I enjoyed a Kieth Urban concert in Brisbane just recently and his transitions were spot on, there was no anxiety just anticipation because something was always happening.  The movements were sharp and directed and implemented with practiced precision.  He flipped and threw a guitar to one of his stage assistants it was an exciting move and so quick.  Plenty of WOODSHEDDING gone on in Kieth’s houses over the years and that is why he is where he is now.  An absolutely dynamic performer and twenty or so years ago he was just kickin about.  Perseverance pays off.
Here is a clip off the tube of Kieth at the particular concert and you can see that he speaks to the audience just like a one on one situation.  Totally relaxed and himself.  The other thing you may recognise is that his persona is natural he is merely being himself, his body language is honest and he exudes a fun factor and that is what we work towards in transitions.
Be yourself and become all you can be with perseverance and knowledge.  This particular module of Tom Jackson’s Curriculum is available through his course.  Enrol now and learn how to the right way first!

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