Performance Series Part Two – Connecting With An Audience


Performance Series Part Two – Connecting With An Audience

by Sass Jordan – Artist, The Lowry Agency

Why Did You

Ahhh … the eternal question – how to connect with an audience?

For me, and audience is a collective energy. It ceases to be a bunch of different personalities, as it is impossible to relate one to one in a gathering of more than 3 or 4 individuals. So the audience is ONE person – a bunch of individuals that become ONE, kinda like the Borg on Star Trek. The thing about it is that each collective has a unique ‘personality’ that is created by the combination of all the individual personalities participating, including the performers.

So, the way I look at it is, how does this collective feel to me? Is it happy? Is it melancholy? Is it full of energy? Is it bored, or distracted? Is it aggressive? Is it drunk? Does it have a youthful feel, or an older feel? The feelings are subtle, but they are always there. As a performer, your job is to sense the atmosphere, and to guide it to wherever you want to go. I personally feel that my objective as an artist is to help people to express their feelings in a safe environment, and to feel uplifted by doing so. It is impossible to articulate how that happens in words, but the intent that you have makes a huge difference. You, as a performer, are in a powerful position to influence a collective ‘mood’, and it is therefore your responsibility to take that seriously. You can incite a riot, or a love – fest, and anything in between. You can also leave everyone utterly un-touched.

The primary  thing to remember on a stage is that the impression you give off is how people will interpret you. This includes your clothing and the way you hold your body. Confidence makes a massive difference to the collective’s interpretation of your abilities. It you feel a lack of confidence, it will show, and it will make people uncomfortable for you. They won’t know why they are feeling so uncertain and unsure themselves, necessarily, but you can be sure they won’t be enjoying themselves!

Finally, the more you believe in the song you are singing, and relating it to your OWN emotions, the more the collective will feel the same way. Emotion is the most powerful thing in the Universe, in my opinion, and it’s what makes music a Universal language. Music IS emotion. Singing IS emotion. Brilliant playing of a musical instrument IS emotion. The audience wants to be moved, to forget their troubles and tribulations, and to be assured that they are not alone in the feelings that they have. We are all the same underneath our skins and our belief systems. We all want to feel a part of something. When you, as a performer, connect with those feelings inside of yourself, you will communicate them to the collective. Connecting with an audience is as simple and as difficult as connecting with your own feelings and emotions.

That is what makes the difference between a great performer and an average one.

Advertisements

4 responses to “Performance Series Part Two – Connecting With An Audience

  • David Knight

    David,

    This is a good article. I could not agree with you more. I call this the “heart and soul” connection. it’s what music is all about. I take it a step further. In my opinion, if you don’t connect with your audience through your recordings and your life performances. Don’t expect them to pull their money out of there pockets!

    The way to your fans is through the heart and soul only! Advertising, promotions, marketing, tweets, whatever else you do comes second to heart and soul. In fact, I’d say if you reach them on the heart and soul level, your marketing efforts will be minimized because they will hear about you via word of mouth!

    David, I’d love to get some of your articles in the Music Talks community.

  • Matches Malone

    I think this goes to any type of performance in front of a live audience, not just singing….

  • Judy Rodman

    I completely agree with this post, and with the great suggestion you make to think of the audience as a collective ‘one’. I have for years taught my students that as singers we must sing TO someone and clearly define who that someone is. Also… the object of our communication needs to make sense with the lyric coming out of our mouths. So we don’t sing angry “you’re a jerk’ lyrics to the audience, we sing to the one who caused the hurt.. and we do it FOR this one-collective spirit of the audience. When we sing a love song… we can sing it to the collective one- like they are the only ‘one’ in the world.

    It works in the studio, too. Songwriter./ producer Michael Clark (co-writer of “Slow Hand”, etc”) and I were discussing this and he said that if you sing to 1 person you can reach 1 thousand but if you sing to 1 thousand you can’t reach anyone. You would obviously agree. Great blog here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: