Are you a deadline person? I am.
I like deadlines. If I have a deadline, a date that something is due, I generally get it done, (even if I have to stay up all night to do it.) They keep me on track. When I had a women’s conference in Toronto to sing at and they promised to buy 50 CD’s when I arrived- I had to have my CD’s done and in hand. That became to release deadline for our last CD: Grace With Jazz On Top. That was good. Having a deadline kept the process from dragging on forever.
With a deadline, I can set up a plan as to when steps need to be accomplished; I can better set priorities. I have an excuse to say “No” I can’t do THAT right now ’cause I have THIS deadline…
A show is a musical deadline.
When I know about a show in advance, I can have time to prepare. This grows my skills. This makes me better.
First I choose the songs (or get them from the director or client, depending on the kind of show it is.) If I’m going to perform these in front of people I need to consider what will work best, for my voice and range, for the event and mood and theme. Who is the audience I am singing/ playing for? What age or sex are they? What styles will they like? Are secular or religious songs appropriate for this show? These tasks may improve my thinking and reasoning skills. I may need advice or approval, growing my communication or negotiation skills. I may have to research songs, download them, strip lead vocals to make a karaoke version… increasing my computer skills on many levels.
Wow! And I haven’t even started practicing!
When I have a show coming up- I make time to practice! I sharpen my vocal skills. Get my voice in shape… and work on those trouble spots. Do I want to belt that section or go into a more breathy head tone? Where can I breath on that long phrase? Maybe I get some coaching from a vocal teacher- or run the part by another vocalist I trust for advice or critique.
I learn and practice the chords. I work on the rhythm and feel of the song. This adds to my math skills. And I ask important questions like: Do I perform this song better with guitar or a track? What communicates better with the audience?
I learn the words (Memory skills enhanced!) Then I think about the message and make it my own. I have to wear the shoes of the songwriter, because I want the audience to feel what I have to share. Now I am working on my acting skills… and again on my communication.
When the show gets closer I need to tell people about it to get them there- now I am working on my advertising skills and promotional skills. And maybe I’m lucky enough to have a street team to get the word out or my band or choir- now I am working on delegating skills!
If I’m in charge of the show there may by graphics for the programs, hiring or enlisting sound, video, photography, rehearsals with the group etc… more skills.
Now it’s showtime. I may have to overcome fear, nerves, technical difficulties and those unexpected problems: So and so is sick today or running late and can’t do this or that…. who can fill in? Can we do without? What extra does that mean I will have to carry? Maybe even I’m the one sick or running late! BACK TO MY KNEES!
At last I’m on the stage. All the pieces come together and I give my heart. I am doing something love to do; I was born to do. And I am temporarily fulfilled.
If everything goes great and the house is packed and everyone loved it and it sounded great and I played it all right and remembered all the words- and hit that high note perfectly…. I am over joyed and can sleep in the confidence of a job well done; a mission accomplished! I have learned how to make it happen- with the help of my team and most of all God. My faith has increased. It has made me better.
If not everything went perfectly, I botched some chords because the light was poor and I couldn’t see the small print and so and so was off key and threw me off- or the people didn’t come or they just didn’t respond… and I have to apologize or figure out what happened or resolve to practice more and do better next time… I have learned from my mistakes, learned to be more humble, to forgive others or myself and to give it all to God. It has made me better.
I sing and play guitar for concerts, clubs, wedding and funerals, restaurants and coffeehouses, churches and parties, the studio and the stage (plays)… and I train others to do it, too.
or if you’d like to hire me to sing at your church or event,
please email me at email@example.com