Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Had a wonderful time performing at 49 West on Sunday evening 11/18, for Elana Byrd's jazz series. I am learning a lot, or at least it feels like it. Of course, I may be giving myself too much credit, as what I'm learning primarily is the continued need to get out of my own way. Anyway, it's always hard for me to be objective about myself. Even so, it's also nearly impossible not to see that now, the connection with others in the room is wide open when I perform. It's an observable and repeatable procedure (insert scientific method here), particularly for an audience new to me: 
Response to first number: about half a tick above polite applause
Response to second number: warmer and more engaging
Response to third number: "Hey, I'm awake now - this is cool!" 
Or something like that.
Actually, James Fitzpatrick (music and concert series director at St Margaret's Episcopal Church, with a history of experiences in the trenches of the Nashville music scene) laid this out to me as the prescribed formula for working/engaging an audience. 3 selections to get in. What this also reinforces is that rapport is a process. The nature of the rapport between audience and performer puts the process on speed dial (in more of a real human relationship situation, you don't establish trust and bonding in 20 minutes). Still, it requires a sense of understanding of the path you are travelling. And in the Arts, few roads are paved. It is, indeed a bumpy ride, at times. Still, the journey is wonderful.


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