Greetings from San Francisco! I wanted to speak to you this week about PERFORMING! (since I'm doing a lot of it while I'm here).
A big breakthrough I've had recently around performing is being able to Own that THIS IS MY STAGE! Meaning that nothing and no one can mess with me while I'm on it-- and I mean nothing. Not my thoughts about how it's going, not the audience responsiveness (or lack of), not how I feel physically, not how vulnerable I feel. The wisdom we carry in being a performer is that we have a way to own what feels most fragile or emotional. Everyone is walking around every day with fear. When we step onto a stage, we are declaring "I am willing to be vulnerable, I am willing to feel deeply and be in the present moment, with everything thing that is going on for me (and for you)." And when we own this, we are powerful. This is why people look up so much to performers. We are "unmessable -with" - as in unable to be messed with. The only way people can "get to us" is by pointing out what we are most afraid of, and by owning it we get to be WITH them in that, versus separating ourselves from the fear that they will point out our vulnerabilities and hold it against us.
So... here's a snapshot of this from last sunday night:
The show is going great. I feel really "in it" loving the music etc. I make occasional mistakes, but nothing that phases me, I'm "owning it", but without any consciousness of this. I just am. Then comes along the song "Perfect," which I've described in previous blogs was written to express learning to let go of the need to be perfect. At this point the audience is really into the looping aspect of what I do. And "Perfect" is great because it is the first time in the set that I loop vocals. I'm not sure exactly what happens as the song goes along... but it feels like it is getting away from me like a runaway train... and the funny thing is that this happened the last time I played it live, except with totally different problems. At some point during the song I decide to just keep going, just get through it. But the "getting through" is not panic driven... it's just what has to be done... there is no sense of failure or of a strong identity crises... it's just what is going on... the song is getting away from me and I just keep going. And then the next surprise. When the song is over, I look out at the audience and giggle. And then I literally find myself saying "wow, that got away from me like a runaway train!" I laugh more and then say "It's so great because, that song is about letting go of the need to be perfect, something that used to keep me from even getting onstage.... and I find myself screwing it up pretty much every show... so "perfect.." ANd in that moment I feel the energy shift.. the audience is so with me... it's like they now trust me to take them on this amazing journey, and be one of the them at the same time. I'm a human being, willing to be vulnerable, willing to share myself and do what they expect... own the stage! I'm big about not making disclaimers, but for some reason in that moment because there was no apology, or sense of failure, the declaring "oops" sets me free.. i can do anything I want and I trust the audience to be with me every step of the way. The audience has become my safety net... they will be there to catch me if I fall, and I am there to open them up. After the show, I approached every single person and asked them to be on the mailing list. And almost all of them chose to join me here. My experience was that on and offstage, I had the opportunity to really connect, and it was such a joy to find that the audience felt the same. Now some of you reading this, might be one of the people that was with me at Brainwash Cafe last night! All I can say is THANK YOU. Thank you for being there, for becoming one of my tribe by being on the list, and for helping me create an authentic place where we can love art, and be human. I love to say that "being an artist is the epitome of owning one's humanity, and connecting it to that which is greater." So my friends. The message of today? OWN YOUR STAGE... be it an actual stage or your stage/place in the world. Own it, and you are everything; ... you are powerful, you are real, you are being unmessable-with!