As an artist, upcoming or established, you have to prepare yourself for greatness, because “victory loves preparation”.
No artist will tell you that from the word go they had their performance routine on lock or that their stagecraft was perfect from day one and there were no stage frights or nervous moments. Every artist has experienced a nervous moment before, during or even after a performance.
The more gigs/shows an artist performs the more confident, more versatile and more sure footed his/her performance becomes. It takes constant practice and/or rehearsals for an artist to hone his/her performance and improve his/her stagecraft, and it takes regular performances to perfect.
As an artist you have to rehearse, practice and train your voice everyday. Most Nigerian artists don’t know that you can plan for everything from how to get on stage, how you will walk the stage or how you will interact and work the crowd. Some ignore the fact that you have to prepare for every performance because there’s a difference between a studio session and a live performance even with a backing track. Many of them just get on stage and just sing over their original vocals without bothering to prepare a proper performance recording. They fail to prepare for the X factor or any contingency that might arise.
The truth is that an artist can prepare for and control his/her performance on stage, but one thing you can’t plan for or have any control over is how the equipment works or will work on the day. No matter how well and meticulously you plan your performances, knowing how to respond/react when there is any form of malfunction during your performance or when an equipment or insturment suddenly becomes faulty right in the middle of your performance is an art in itself. Nobody can teach you that, it comes from steady rehearsals, practice, great reflexes and muscle memory. It is an art only seasoned performers have perfected and it only comes with steady preparation and practice.
How you hold the stage and carry yourself during those moments is what truly makes you a professional. It is the true measure of an artist not to lose composure when there is a stage, wardrobe or equipment malfunction. There’s a saying in showbiz that “SHOW GOES ON” it means no matter what happens, once you get on stage give the best performance you can.
If there’s only one person in the room, give them a show, if you fall or miss your step, get up and carry on as smartly as possible, if you forget your lines/ lyrics go on like nothing happened, don’t pause or stop, carry on as fluidly and seamlessly as you can. If the DJ or band’s equipment malfunctions, turn your set into an acapella performance or involve the crowd in a sing along performance. Don’t panic or be flustered, do something, engage the crowd and continue till the problem is fixed.
Don’t let anything stop or prevent you from making an impact on the crowd with your performance. Whether it’s a paid or free performance, ALWAYS put your best foot forward period. Remember, first impressions always last the longest so never UNDERESTIMATE the power of every performance especially a live one.
Remember, it doesn’t matter how many times your audience have heard, played or streamed your song, they came to see you perform so give them a show worthy of note because if you give a lackluster performance that’s all they will always remember about you, but if you give them a great show, you will leave an indelible mark on them for life.
Also an artist should always endeavour to arrive at the venue of his/her event, performance or show early and on time. It’s better to arrive and be waiting in your green room than to have the crowd/fans waiting for hours and you arrive late. Always apologize when/if that happens due to an unforeseen circumstance. Never take your fans for granted.
Because whatever the situation or circumstances, even if you are having a bad annoying day or had a long tiring flight, as long as you show up to the venue and get on stage, everything else is secondary, “show goes on”, so you have to give your best performance and be the best showman ever.