A singer I know got some great feedback recently from a new band member. He told her that although she was an excellent performer, she was undermining herself between songs. Here’s how:
While singing in this particular band, she takes on the persona of a rockstar-type diva. She’s high-energy and edgy. She takes risks, both vocally and with her performance. She rocks out and she gives her all, often ending up nearly out of breath because she’s been moving so much. In short, she has attitude and confidence, and you can see it in her moves and eyes, and hear it in her voice.
BUT… between songs, she sometimes slips a little back into the down-to-earth, modest person she is in “real,” offstage life. Her bandmate said it feels jarring and confusing, and detracts from the power of who she is while she sings.
Of course it does!
So – Who are you while you sing? Are you a rockstar? Are you an earthy singer-songwriter? A big-band funkmaster? A diva with attitude? Whoever you have chosen to be, realize that even if this is not “THE” real you, this is A REAL PART of you. And the entire time you are on stage, you have to embrace that persona.
If you are a singer-songwriter who believes this doesn’t apply to you because you don’t put on a persona when you perform, think again. You are all kinds of different people at different times. You show one side of yourself while you’re grocery shopping and buying gas… Another side of yourself at a job interview… Another side of yourself to your family at the holidays… another side of yourself to your significant other while on vacation… and so on.
If you choose to be an authentic, heartfelt singer-songwriter while performing, then you need to carry that consistent personality across your set, including between songs. How jarring would it be if you showed your earthy singer-songwriter self during your songs, but then between songs slipped back into the reserved persona you use to interact with your boss at work? Or if you let slip a bit of arrogance because you believed that was what the stage called for?
So, if you are a rockstar, be a rockstar – all the time you’re on stage, including between songs. Don’t worry about leaving aside the other parts of your personality for a while. This is your job.
If this isn’t natural to you, two of the best things you can do to get comfortable with it are detailed in the free e-book available HERE. These are “Role Play” and “Bring In Your Best Self.” Both require a bit of visualization. And both may take a little time for you to develop fully, but can also result in immediate changes as well.
Singing is acting, so continue your job as actor until you exit the stage.
(c) 2011 Adrienne Osborn