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mastermindreader
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You shouldn't be out performing for a paying audience until AFTER you've had plenty of performing experience (which will include a fair number of "failures")
Scott Soloff
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When I was fifteen I dropped a billiard ball on the stage.

Best wishes,


Scott
'Curiouser and curiouser."
Chaz93
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Quote:
On Jul 30, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
You shouldn't be out performing for a paying audience until AFTER you've had plenty of performing experience (which will include a fair number of "failures")



I agree, which is why I suggest doing this when you first start out, and not when you're getting work.
mastermindreader
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I agree that it was a positive experience for you. But, as I understood your post, you didn't do it intentionally. It happened on its own, the way its happened to most of us.

I don't recommend doing it on purpose. When I learned to ride a motorcycle I didn't fall intentionally just to get THAT out of the way. Smile

The only way to get good at anything is to try your best every time and later analyze and correct whatever may have gone wrong. There's nothing to be learned through intentional failure, ther than the fact that failure isn't the end of the world, which I think everyone knows anyway. Except, maybe, if it happens on a motorcycle.
sandsjr
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The truth is you're going to fail even when you've been doing it a long time. We're human. If something can go wrong it will. All we can do is be prepared for all the eventualities we can think of, then let go of it... don't worry. I agree with you Chaz, a few embarrassing failures quickly teaches you there's nothing to worry about... nothing bad is going to happen to you. That is freeing and has a way of loosening you up.


This thread reminds me of an interesting quote that went something like...

...when you're young you worry about what people think of you...

...In your middle ages you learn not to care what people think of you...

...In your later years you realize, people aren't (and weren't) thinking of you.

Remember that one kids. Smile
Chaz93
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Quote:
On Jul 30, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
I agree that it was a positive experience for you. But, as I understood your post, you didn't do it intentionally. It happened on its own, the way its happened to most of us.

I don't recommend doing it on purpose. When I learned to ride a motorcycle I didn't fall intentionally just to get THAT out of the way. Smile

The only way to get good at anything is to try your best every time and later analyze and correct whatever may have gone wrong. There's nothing to be learned through intentional failure, ther than the fact that failure isn't the end of the world, which I think everyone knows anyway. Except, maybe, if it happens on a motorcycle.


Yes, in my experience it didn't happen intentionally. If someone would have suggested that I go out an intentionally fail to get over the nerves and fear of failure though I probably would have taken that advice, based soley on the way I tend to approach new skills and learn. However I think the main point we disagree on is whether or not anything can be learned from an intentional failure. I believe there are good lessons that can be taught by failing, even if doing so intentionaly, beyond just "it isn't the end of the world". So at this point I'm inclined to agree to disagree, as I don't think belaboring my point will do this conversation any good. We all have our own notions and ideas, bore from our experience, and we're not all going to agree on everything all of the time. If we did this place would be boring as hell wouldn't it? Smile

All the best
mastermindreader
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You're right, but a LOT more is learned from unintentional failure. You don't learn what to correct and refine if you did it on purpose.

Besides, I've always felt that I owed EVERY audience my best, even when I was first starting out.
sandsjr
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Chaz you said...

"if you go out an intentionally fail in a venue and show that doesn't matter you have no risk."



If the show doesn't matter to you, failing probably won't teach you much. It could in fact have the opposite affect and make you more nervous about failing at a show that does matter.

I don't think you can "force" experience. It just takes time. Work hard and let it happen.
mastermindreader
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That's what I mean- I don't feel that there are ANY shows, venues, or audiences that "don't matter."

And you never know who may be in any given audience.
Chaz93
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Poor choice of words on my part. You should care about every performance, and it should matter. Let me try to clarify:

One of the biggest hinderances to a performer is the fear of failure, which can and does nag at the back of our minds taking attention and energy away from the rest of our internal processes going into the performance and at times even leaking out to be noticible by our audiences. In my experience one of the best ways to overcome fear is by dealing with it head on, and learning what the worst possible situation can be. Granted, there are some times this isn't appropriate, such as like Bob mentioned when learning to ride a motorcycle, but there are other times when it is useful such as picking up a tarantula.

Every show should matter to you, but the reason why it matters may be different. A show could matter to you as a learning experience, and not matter to you as a paycheck. When I said "fail in a venue and show that doesn't matter you have no risk" I meant more along the lines of the latter. If you are going out just to test run new material, try out a new line, etc, and are not making a paycheck or looking to get work off the back of the show then there is no risk from messing up or trying anything new. In a paid performance you want to be 100 percent on from the minute you take the stage. Out at the bar with friends, or at an open mic night where no one is going to remember your name in five minutes anyway though? I think you can take a few liberties. And at this point, you make the show matter not as a way to generate revenue, but as a way to generate experience.

As far as forcing experience, you gain experience by doing, even if you have to engineer the situation. Look at martial artists, who train repeatedly on what to do if someone tries a certain hold or grab. They are engineering the situation for that to occur, but are definitely gaining experience in dealing with that situation by putting themselves into the situation to begin with.

As I said though, this is just my advice. Not a hard pressed rule to live by or anything, and it can be taken or discarded at will. I just know from my experience that failing early on taught me a lot, and I am the type of person who likes to be prepaired for any eventuality and if that means failing on purpose so I can know exactly what my inner processes will be during a failure, that's what I'll do and I do think I would have gotten some benefit if someone had given me the advice I am now giving when I was still a scared little newbie taking any gig I could get.
mastermindreader
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You're overlooking one thing, and probably the most important- the audience. THEY matter, and I believe every performer owes them his best efforts.* And intentionally blowing a show is hardly that.

*I believe THAT'S one of the most important lessons newbies need to learn.
sandsjr
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And, if you want to be the best you can be, you hold yourself to the highest standards possible EVERYTIME you perform... whether you're getting paid or doing an open mic as you say.

Chaz I understand your excitement at discovering mishaps aren't the end of the world, as well as your excitement to share that. However, I think people need to discover that for themselves. They will in due time.
Chaz93
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I think that by knowing how you will process and react to a failure you are better armed to deal with it in the future, and thus are giving the audience your best effort because you are actively making an effort to improve your stage presence and show by going out and intentionally putting yourself in a worst case scenerio and developing a strategy to deal with that. So while it might not seem like it Bob, I think we both agree that we need to give our audiences our very best. It seems we simply disagree on ways to go about doing that.
Chaz93
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Quote:
On Jul 30, 2014, sandsjr wrote:
And, if you want to be the best you can be, you hold yourself to the highest standards possible EVERYTIME you perform... whether you're getting paid or doing an open mic as you say.

Chaz I understand your excitement at discovering mishaps aren't the end of the world, as well as your excitement to share that. However, I think people need to discover that for themselves. They will in due time.


Indeed. All I offer is my experience and advice which may or may not help someone discover that and save some time in the process.
sandsjr
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On Jul 30, 2014, Chaz93 wrote:
I think we both agree that we need to give our audiences our very best....


Accept for some audiences???
Chaz93
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"I think that by knowing how you will process and react to a failure you are better armed to deal with it in the future, and thus are giving the audience your best effort because you are actively making an effort to improve your stage presence and show by going out and intentionally putting yourself in a worst case scenerio and developing a strategy to deal with that."
sandsjr
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I think you develop a strategy for mishaps at home when you practice. You consider everything you can think of that could go wrong and you prepare for when and if those things happen.

What does a live mishap teach you except to show you one place you should have prepared for? (And of course that failing isn't the end of the world.)
Chaz93
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What is to be learnt depends on the person and the experience. I don't think a bullet list of lessons would do any good.
mastermindreader
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Chaz-

Sorry, but you are NOT giving an audience your very best by intentionally blowing your act. Your motive in doing that is to prepare yourself for failure. I understand that. But that is a self-centered motive. Your efforts should always be audience centered- and that means always doing your best.

And, like I said, you never know who's going to be in a particular audience, or what opportunities or breaks you might have blown at the same time you intentionally blew your act.
Chaz93
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Bob,

I understand your point of view, which is why I am happy to agree to disagree on this.
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