By Cari Cole
Performing is an art, a craft and a skill – and while it’s not as easy as it looks — there are some key things you can do that will make your stage show rock and make you the envy of your performer friends!
Let’s break it down…
You are An Actor Playing A Role.
It’s all about becoming a character for the enjoyment of the audience, and nothing gets in the way because you’re an actor playing a role. It’s not just you anymore when you’re on stage so you have total permission to be outrageous.
So let’s break it down to 3 things you can do to walk on that stage – any stage – and own it!
1. Dress the Part.
Clothes, jewelry and hair are a big part of the “fantasy” you project as a performer. Think of it like an actor playing a role and putting on a costume. What you wear has to have some fantasy to it and it shouldn’t look like something you wear every day. So – you’re going to have to spend some time on this. I just saw a female singer perform with stockings that she hand painted on – stuff that’s unusual like that works. The best way to dig into this is to watch live videos of your favorite artists and study what they wear and how they do their hair. Start applying some of their ideas to you. Vintage shops are a great place to find one-of-a-kind pieces – jackets or vintage boots/shoes. Another cool idea is to work with a young designer who is interested in creating a look for you! Sometimes just a change of hair color can make all the difference (you might want to test it out by trying on a wig first!). Try one new thing at your next performance!
2. Act the Part.
A rock star is completely confident, self-assured, and they even prance (and btw – that prance is rehearsed). Absolutely everything is congruent – banter, attitude, dress, and owning the stage. The way to do that is to totally know your parts (voice and instrument if you play) and not be consumed with remembering lyrics or chord changes. The way you do that is to be over-rehearsed. The #1 reason for stagefright is UNDER preparation. Over rehearsing allows you to relax and concentrate on performing. I also recommend to rehearse in a room with a mirror so you can practice your prancing! Practice walking a few steps to the right, to the left, and back to center. Practice bending down to the audience, show the contrast-tension in the lyrics, and get comfortable with taking the mic on and off the stand. Also, watch videos of your favorite artists and study their moves – then bring a few into your performance! Practice makes perfect. And even if you are shy – try acting the part – remember – you’re an actor playing a role!
3. Live the Part on stage.
Once you step on that stage it’s not about the audience (how many people are there or who’s there) and it’s not about how you feel. Your job is to deliver as if you are performing at Madison Square Garden. How? By performing with 110% conviction — absolutely no holds barred. No matter if you miss a note or forget a lyric or even drop the mic – your job is to pretend that it’s all part of the show. Never let ’em see ya sweat! Every single move you make or thing you do on stage – do it with complete conviction. Never doubt yourself. Step into the role and give it everything you’ve got. That’s how you own a stage (and practice prancing – watch Mick or Lady for some inspiration).
So next time you get on stage, no matter what stage it is, walk on that stage like you own it and pretend its MSG will help you perform with more intensity and be more magnetic. I hope you transform your next performance and enjoy it more than you ever have before! When you get a chance, drop me an email and let me know how it went! I love to hear from you guys!