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Performance Tip No.2

It's not all about you. When we write a diary we are writing for ourselves. When we write a blog or a short story or a book or a song, we are ultimately writing for other people. We as the authors, however cathartic the process might be for us, are the least important audience in the equation. Performing is the same. If you want to play music for the pure pleasure of it to please yourself, you don't need to get in front of an audience to do that. You can do that among your friends or in the solitude or your own company. I have known some wonderful musicians who really have no ambition to do anything other than that. There are plenty of great singers and musicians who are session players, orchestral players or backing singers who never make it as soloists or feature musicians in their own right. Some because they don't want to and some because they don't know how to perform, to connect with their audience.

Different people give different reasons for getting out there to perform; I want to make a difference; I want to share my music; I want to be famous; I want to make money (which in most cases is really not going to happen). Underlying it all is probably, even if you won't admit it to yourself, the affirmation you get when your audience appreciates what you do. Strangely enough, standing on stage and being fabulous will not get you that much appreciation in the long run. If you do not give something of yourself back to the audience, if you don't treat them with respect and realise that it is your privilege to entertain them, then you will lose their interest very quickly.

If you care about your performance, you will notice when they disengage. If you don't and they wander off without you noticing, then you are not a performer at all.


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