What If? (solo show jitters)
I’m currently preparing for a solo performance, where I will play and sing all by myself, w/out any backing band to lean on. This is of course fairly frightening. But there’s a great technique I know of that works well w/ these kinds of scenarios.
It’s basically to imagine the worst case scenario, and discover that even at the lowest things might not be so bad. For instance, one worst case might be that no one shows up, and I’m performing just for myself and one barista (or whatever the coffee makers at Sip This like to be called). However, the bright side is that there’s really no one to tell the tale of how awfully my performance was attended, and so I can just serenade the counter-person for a few songs and then pack up early and do something else, which isn’t such a bad fate (and they do have some gorgeous women working there).
So what might be a worse predicament? Maybe if a crowd does show up but my performance is terrible. Like my guitar keeps going out of tune, and I have a scratchy throat and sing out-of-tune, and forget a lot of lyrics. Well, first off I’d say this is a worse fate for the people that showed up than it is for me. They have to sit through it, whereas at least I’m doing something. And even though it’d be a shame to have a dreadful show turn off these folk from ever coming to see me again, the next morning my life would be much the same as it had been the previous day, so it’s not all that horrid an outcome. My potential audience will just have become a bit smaller, which though not something I want, wouldn’t be something that would totally disrupt my life. It would just set me back a bit.
So the worst possible thing that can occur at this show isn’t something to be all that concerned about. And it’s highly unlikely that the worst thing will happen, which of course also means that it’s equally unlikely that the best thing will happen (like Katie Sackhoff happens to break down while passing through w/ an A&R friend of hers and they stop in and I do such an amazing performance that she becomes quite taken w/ me and the A&R tool insists on signing me to a mega-deal w/ his label. As I said, highly unlikely). So the actuality will probably be somewhere in between the worst and the best. So I guess the lesson is if one is focused on the best outcome, one will likely be disappointed, but if one is focused on the worst, then one will be pleasantly surprised.