Liberating the introverted performing artist

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How to overcome stage fright with online concertsOvercoming stage fright by playing live online concerts

[This article was written by guest contributor James Wasem from Gigee.me]

There are only a handful of people I know that claim to not get anxious before going on stage. I think most of them are lying!

The stage is a great place to be, but it can be tough to compete with all of the things happening in a typical live performance environment. You’ve got the crowd of course, but you also have influences like sound, lighting, stage props, other performers, and a host of other variables that make an impact on how you experience the space. When all of these things are working cohesively together, it’s a great experience. But as we know, there are so many times when one or more of those variables just aren’t right, and it can sometimes throw off the whole vibe of your gig.

Or maybe you truly do have stage fright. You want to perform, but just have a hard time working up the fortitude to get on stage as often as you and your fans would like.

And then there is the challenge of finding a venue and stage that complements your music, your personality, and helps deliver the experience you want for your audience.

Do It Yourself

Perhaps you’re new to the world of making music, maybe you’ve done a lot of recording but haven’t performed live much, and maybe you still can’t seem to shake the nerves of performing in a new place for new faces. Even for some experienced performers, playing a new song live for the first time can bring on the butterflies too!

What would you say about performing live in an environment under your complete control where you are the boss? You set the stage the way you want it. You light the room exactly the way you like. You arrange the room to suit your taste. And you tell the audience to sit wherever they want.

I know all of that probably sounds mildly far-fetched, and maybe even impossible. But it’s not! You can actually perform live in a place of your choosing, in an environment you create, and your fans can sit wherever they want. How?

You are live – online.

Setting your own stage and making your own venue is a great experience – and it is especially liberating and empowering if you count yourself among the world’s introverts (or control freaks!). Setting up and streaming an online concert is a great way to perform live without the pressures of being in an uncomfortable place or unpredictable surroundings.

To be honest, I still feel a little twinge of anxiety when I hit that “go live” button to start the online concert. But it’s more of a fun excitement than anxious fear. And I love that fans can tune in from anywhere in the world to watch my gig. (If you have introverted fans, you can give them the opportunity to experience your live gig and they don’t even have to leave the living room!)

I’ll leave the psychology of stage fright, anxiety, and social interaction to the professionals. But, if you want to still “get out there” and perform live without the trappings of traditional live venues, then consider streaming live online gigs and concerts a way to deliver that unique performance experience for you and your audience.

What about the tech?

If you’re worried about the technology, well, it’s not as scary or complicated as it might seem. You can put on a pretty great show with just a webcam and a good microphone. There are some simple things you can do to help your show stand out from other “living room artists” by just lighting the room right, choosing a good backdrop, and taking time to do a quality sound check. It’s all pretty simple stuff really, and there are some great resources out there to help you through the process.

As the technical director at Gigee.me, I’ve seen some great live online events produced with relative ease and basic equipment. We’ve used everything from webcams and USB mics to HD video cameras, audio mixing consoles, and video switchers. Aside from a good internet connection, you really just have to light your space right and capture good audio. If you want to put on a larger event with higher production value and multiple cameras, that works great too! Just reach out to your local production/tech team and they can help you out. Our support team even has some great suggestions if you have questions about setting up for your next online gig.

Get out there

You have several different options today for streaming your live events to your fans. Pick the one that works best for you, your fans, and the types of events you want to host. Make sure you get the tech support you need or want, and find out how you can stream your own events with the gear you probably already have. Make sure you get paid too! Your fans buy tickets for the show, and you should get your fair share.

I’ve got lots of tips and advise for how to put on a great event and reach more fans online, but my number one suggestion: just get out there and do it.  The world is waiting.

James Wasem is an audio/video engineer and drummer, as well as a co-founder and technical director at Gigee.me. Gigee provides an easy-to-use online platform where artists can broadcast their own live ticketed events, and make 80% of all ticket sales.  Learn more at www.Gigee.ME

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[Stage fright image from Shutterstock.]

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  • Grey

    There’s only one way to get past stage fright:
    jump in the fire – and keep jumping into the fire until it no longer
    burns. Yes, you will probably suck the first time or two. So what? You’ll laugh about it years later. My first time I was so scared my hands were shaking. Not a good thing for a guitarist. lol The second time was no better because I was remembering that horrid performance, but by the third time, I was more relaxed. In no time, I was comfortable hamming it up in front of people.

    • Great advise! You still see plenty of pro ball players going through their nervous (or superstitious) routines before stepping up to the plate or line. No substitute for getting out there and just doing it! Being a drummer, I would get nervous and play faster 🙂 We had some recordings of early shows, and I’m driving the song at double time due to the nerves. Definitely got some anxious looks from my shaky handed guitarists.