I know at least one of you watches the Daily Show because of the squirrel reference. Kevin asked what to do if you are having a bad night. One of the types of bad nights he describes feels like this:
“You’re feeling disconnected — like you are just not able to… SQUIRREL!! … focus. Like your head is in a cloud.”
(The “squirrel” Daily Show reference is about how a dog’s attention span to his master is undivided… only as long as there is no squirrel to chase. The show makes an analogy between that and the media’s behavior regarding people like Terry Jones, the pastor who called for a Koran burning. The reference runs from 3:30-4:15 here, if you’re curious: https://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-september-13-2010/islamophobiapalooza.)
I will probably address this question over a few different articles because, life is crazy busy right now with lots of good things, and also because there are a lot of different kinds of bad nights so there is a lot to write about. So I’m going to make this quick today and cover the question in a number of different installments.
Today, just one piece of advice. This idea comes from one of Tony Robbins’ programs:
Set your intention.
What does that mean? It means to take a few minutes before your gig to set an intention for how you want the gig to go. It also means that if you find in the middle of the gig that you’re – SQUIRREL! – not focusing, you find five minutes on the next set break to set an intention for the next set.
An intention should be simple, concrete, and easy to keep in mind. Some examples are:
“Fluid and easy.”
“Simple and solid.”
“Send my energy toward the audience.”
“Keep focus through the distractions.”
Usually, whatever comes to mind first is a great intention.
I’ve started using daily intentions each morning, in the Tony Robbins format, the last month or so. And I find that when you set an intention, it’s like setting a rudder for the rest of your day. Rather than being at the mercy of whatever happens to you or whatever thoughts come into your mind, you already have a direction you are heading. So, instead of waiting for outside influences to tip and sway you in any direction, it’s much easier to keep going in the direction of your intention, and get back on track when you get off.
You set an intention by finding some time to yourself – perhaps go on a short walk outside the gig venue, or go to the green room alone – and take a few minutes to think of a short phrase for your intention, then just focus on it. Imagine how it feels to play or perform while embodying that phrase.
Then write it on your set list so that you can keep reminding yourself throughout the gig.
More next week on this topic… have a wonderful week, and feel free to contribute your own ideas in the comment area below!
(c) 2010 Adrienne Osborn
Adrienne Osborn is a vocalist and performance coach based in Colorado. For more free articles and tips, visit https://PerformanceHigh.net.