Every artist dreams of playing live shows in front of an audience who is there to watch them do what they love. The feeling is a rush, especially when you earn crowds in the hundreds and thousands. But how does this all start? Many artists in the world are waiting to be discovered by a special talent agent who will elevate their name. But there’s a key word in there that makes this a hopeless dream, “waiting”. There is no rule in this industry that says you can’t start yourself off, and most managers would rather sign an artist with experience running the business themselves because it means the manager’s job would be easier.
First, it is very important to do your research. Make sure you know exactly what venues allow your genre regularly, the size of the venue and stage, room for the crowd, atmosphere and more! It will not only help your performance, but it will make you look good if it seems like you know exactly what your doing. Any sound engineer and venue owner will love you if you bring them a diagram, (either drawn by hand or made using templates, which can be found at stageplot.com), of exactly where each of your amps, instruments, performers, lights, and everything else you bring to the stage will be. This lets the sound engineer know where to place surge protectors, risers, and any other extras you need to run your show.
Also, make sure you know how to market yourself. One of the most infamous band photos in the music industry is the pictures of a band wearing their everyday clothes standing in front of a random background they thought looked cool. It tells us nothing about what type of music they play, who they are, what they represent, if it’s explicit or not, and raises more questions than answers. Make sure if you’re designing your own posters, people know exactly what they are about to get out of your show.
Finally, give the people more than what they expected. There’s a difference between a performer and an entertainer. Performers are artists who just show up, perform their songs, maybe tell you to “Put your hands up” or “Sing it with me!” or other small things like that but that’s all they do and it’s fun if it’s your favorite artist, but as a brand new act, that won’t get you anywhere. Now, on the other hand, an entertainer is the one who will jump into the crowd, interact with a crowd, tell a story, laugh with them, and make sure that they are ready for anything to go wrong and to handle it accordingly. They go with the flow of the show and really have their list planned out. These versitle artists are the best to watch because they roll with the punches, and grant the best possible chance for one to get to meet their favorite artist either through a stage dive, invitation on stage, or an upfront song seeming like it was just for you.
You may not be the biggest name in the nation or even your city, but to get there, it requires you to be a human being. Laugh at your mistakes, go with the flow, and become relaxed on a stage in front of hundreds of strangers who are literally there to judge you. It isn’t as easy as it sounds and takes practice, but if you can get your performance down and tailored to your audience, your rise to popularity as an artist will go smoother.
Implement these techniques and invite me to your shows! You can follow me on twitter @pratedgaf and if I see your show or hear your music and like it, you’ll get a special shout out in an artist spotlight series.
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