I’ve struggled with ways to make my personality shine through on stage. How can I be that musician that wows the crowd at alive show. We are in the auto-tune era so we know anyone can sound good in the studio, but what separates the real from the fake is the live show. The great artists of all time could back up their studio works with amazing live shows. I’ve studied great live show performers to see if I could borrow some of their magic and yes it has helped until I stumbled upon this epiphany which has transformed my stage presence. I call it the curse of the applause junkie.
The applause junkie requires a steady dose of applause to maintain homeostasis. Without the applause, they feel something went wrong with their show. The feedback from outside governs their behavior from within. It’s a case of putting the carriage before the horse. Let me explain.
It matters to me that the crowd is having a good time, and they are expressing their appreciation in many ways, the most obvious being the applause. However, playing 70 shows in 3 months allowed me the opportunity to see that 10 songs that got the crowd crazy one day, could have little effect on another crowd a different day. I would constantly tweak set lists to get a desired response, and nothing is wrong with that. It was however a cause of steady stress until I read about the concept of the thermometer vs thermostat. The thermometer fluctuates based on the temperature outside, while the thermostat dictates what the temperature will be from within. I’m now a thermostat!
The satisfaction I get from any show now is knowing I gave it 100% and that’s enough for me. I distance myself from the outcome of the show knowing that if I’m honest with my self onstage, and I give it my all, people will buy into it eventually and I’ll get that feedback that comes with it. It’s nice to have that timely feedback during a show, but I don’t need it anymore to validate me as a live performer. This way, I’m not trying to be something I’m not and I’m free to be me. I play me very well btw.
In summary, to be great on stage is to distance yourself from the outcome of the show and just perform for an audience of one…you. If you can convince yourself of your product on stage, you don’t have to work hard to convince another. After discovering this truth, my live show positive feedback has increased exponentially, and I’m having more fun now than ever.
So when I see you at a show, “don’t be alarmed if you see me get down, swinging my hips I bet they don’t lie”. Till we high five again my friends, keep making good music the soundtrack to your life.
Nelly aka Nelson aka Halle Berry’s Ex
As I sit here at the Boston Logan international Airport getting ready to board the first of 3 flights to Pensacola Florida, I contemplate the future of my music. Life on the road has been equally challenging and rewarding, and I’ve grown a lot musically and personally over the past 3-4 months.
The next album which I’ll be working on with the band will be more of a concept album. It will be written from the perspective of how a woman views the world and vice versa. It’ll go really deep into some issues women face in today’s society that affect them and people in their circle of influence. It is a man’s world and yeah that hasn’t changed much since the James Brown era and I mean that more as fact vs opinion. Women more than men struggle with the different caps they have to wear daily which appears to be more complex now than ever before. The Album will be titled VICTORIA’S SECRET, but more on that later I promise. This should be an excellent next album that I hope and pray will connect with people the way I envision.
By the way, I’m eagerly looking forward to the show I have in Federal Hill on April 17. I miss home being on the road so much and definitely miss the fans and familiar faces. Life is good, music is great, and God is the greatest. Till we misbehave again, please continue to make good music the soundtrack to your life
Nelson aka troublemaker aka rockpaperscissors