3 questions to ask yourself before the gig!
I write songs and I perform songs, and I have come to realize that people just like me (that’s you) have various moods. And when you’re in a particular mood, you respond to a specific type of music. I really like rock music; but sometimes I’m not in a “Pump My Fist!” mood. I really like folk music, but I’m not always in the mood for that either. So- where does that leave us as songwriters and performers? Easy- In the perfect place.
As a performer you should always reach out to your audience.
QUESTION ONE: What’s the venue? If it’s a dinner setting then don’t expect to get a great response from your favorite “MELT YOUR FACE” rock set. Likewise, your dinner crowd set will end disastourously as an opener for the rock band you’re opening for at the local bar.
QUESTION TWO: What’s the overall vibe of the room? Well, try to match that. Not sure? Try reaching out to ONE table of listeners. Sometimes you can get a rapport going with one set of listeners and get others involved as you go. Keep your eyes on your audience; if just one person at one table is bopping with you, make eye contact and cultivate that. That one person can sway the rest of the audience in your favor. I’ve done this, it works.
QUESTION THREE: Are you ready to follow through? The best batters in baseball follow through. The momentum of the bat is what puts the ball in play. So be ready to follow through. When you take a break (or when your set is finished) go directly to the folks who cheered you on and liked what you did. Got friends there? Excuse yourself briefly and head over to your NEW FANS. Yes, they will notice that you came over to them first. And yes, they’ll dig it enough to sign your email list. They already like your music so you’ll have stuff to talk about.
If you’ve done this long enough you know that you’re not going to wow every room every time; but that’s no excuse for giving up. Most people enjoy well-performed music; so get your set lists together, practice, and then — go out and meet those new fans! ~TH~