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Do You Know Why You're Doing, What You're Doing?

Updated: Apr 19, 2019

Hope you guys are having a great start to the new year and here in Nashvegas, it’s really starting to not only look like Spring but feel like it too!

I’m rocking back and forth between excitement and trepidation, a bit.

I thought I’d share some interesting info for those of us trying to develop ourselves into successful artists and people this year.

2 Ways of Doing Things

I teach a methodical approach to live music performance. This approach systematically breaks down all of the components of live performance, and creates a concise and easy way to understand the process of how to capture an audience's attention and engage them in a way that supersedes just the physical performance of music.

But it also goes deeper than that and deals with not only "what you should do" but also "why."

It’s based on ideas and concepts that have been practiced and developed for years and years by performers all over the world.

The Formula Approach

There is a prevailing approach in motivational teaching. It sounds like this in the “money making” circles:

“Find someone who has made a million dollars, and do what they did and you can make a million.”

This really applies to anything; find someone who’s done “X” and do what they did and you can get the same results they got.

It's the "one size fits all" or "cookie cutter" approach. One size doesn't fit all and even if it does work for a time, it rarely can adapt to the changes that inevitably come.

This is called the Formula approach to success. It relies on following a formula and doing with repetition, the prescribed steps that will then, result in successfully achieving the same results someone else achieved.

The Character Approach

The other is called the Character approach.

It’s concept is based on developing the “character” traits that are involved in all successful endeavors; honesty, perseverance, consistency, etc., not so much focusing on the outcome but trusting that these character traits always create the environment for achieving a successful outcome. Notice the words there; I'm not saying that you can get away with not doing the work of learning and practicing the right things. Successful character development requires that some things are done simply by following a set of prescribed steps. But it's the "why" that changes the outcome.

I got a lot of this from Dr. Jim Richards, Impact Ministries.

Why Doesn't It Work The Same Way Every Time?

I teach based on a “method” but anyone who has worked with me knows that I don't create "cookie cutter" shows and performances for the artists I work with. Can you learn where to move when, and how with a method?

Of course!

But I’ve seen artists who learn the “right thing to do” and yet it doesn’t seem to work as well as it should for them.

Well why is that?

Because, underlying all of the method’s concepts, is the idea that, your talent and skill aren’t primarily for you; they are for your audience. This is a development of character question; not a "how to do this.." question.

I remember one 18 year old artist at a 2 day intensive workshop a few years ago being asked what her goals were in regard to her potential audience. She answered that she wanted to have the biggest audience possible so that she could enjoy having her talent experienced by as many people as possible and make as much money as possible. Pretty big aspirations and she was very talented.

The panel judge who asked her the question, then said that in order to have that large an audience, she would have to see her talent as a service she could bring to people and constantly pursue ways that they could receive from her. He challenged her to see beyond her own desires for fulfillment and to see what her gift and skill were meant to accomplish in the lives of others.

It Will Work... Don't Give Up!

As you work on your show and the skills you’re hoping to develop as an artist, remember that in order for this to work in the best way possible, it’s got to be more than just a series of things you learn, to get “people to like you more, and sell more merch, etc.”. It's not a "cut and paste" answer.

I’m not trying to squash any of your efforts or excitement here, but ultimately, an audience can sense when an artist is playing a "numbers game" or they are truly there to bring as much possible benefit to them; the motivation should be there, no matter the size of the audience.

The method, when understood and applied will work; but the most successful application occurs when it's done from the heart; and people connect to "you", not just to your music.

I know this isn’t a “Do 1, 2, & 3” kind of a blog which I do believe in as well, but I'm just giving you a little challenge here to look a little deeper than just the "how" and ask the "why".

Good luck and kick butt!

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