Do you dream about singing at an iconic venue or performing at an Open Mic Night? Having a performance goal is great, but often there’s a gap between your dream and your current capabilities. So here are 12 ways to earn your performance stripes and move closer to achieving your dream.
As most accomplished and well-known performers will tell you, success doesn’t happen overnight. It can take years of practice to fine-tune stage craft, overcome performance anxiety and learn how to connect with an audience. Years of standing in front of others and sharing a story through song.
Which means if you want to improve and ultimately achieve your dream performance goal, you need to actively look for opportunities, because they don’t always land in your lap.
Luckily, there are a whole gamut of possibilities within reach and I hope these ideas will motivate you to hone your performance skills this year.
- At home in front of family and friends
It’s not particularly glamorous, but a great place to start performing is with your nearest and dearest in a space you feel comfortable. It could be an impromptu performance or you could send out invitations and even prepare drinks and nibbles!
- Special family events like Christmas, milestone birthdays or a wedding
Once your clan have witnessed your talent, you might get a gig at a wedding or special family event. Or you can create your own opportunity, by offering to perform.
- Church or Sunday School
If you’re a church goer, church is often a wonderfully supportive environment where you can get regular practice performing. You may even like to extend yourself by offering to sing a solo.
- Aged care homes
Another great way to start performing is at your local aged care home. You’ll not only bring joy to the residents’ day; aged care homes offer a less pressured performance environment. You will need a repertoire of at least 6 songs and it’s also helpful to team up with a pianist.
- Studio concert run by your singing teacher
I hold a studio concert twice a year to give my students the opportunity to perform. I hire a venue in Sydney and my students sing one or two songs, accompanied by a professional pianist, in front of family and friends.
- Local community choir of choral festival
There are many small community choirs you can join who will have their own schedule of events. A choir with a great program in 2017 is Sydney Sings!, plus a scholarship opportunity, and there’s also the Sydney Flash Mob Choir. These are terrific online resources too: Acapella Central and ANCA.
Eisteddfods are one way I honed my performance skills in the early days of my career. A competition environment can be daunting for some, but also exhilarating! It’s also a place where you can make connections with other singers and form life-long bonds. Check out these websites to get you started: Sydney Eisteddfod and National Eisteddfod.
- Amateur music theatre company
If you like to combine acting and dancing into your performance, music theatre is for you. Stage Whispers can help point you in the right direction.
- YouTube channel
Creating your own YouTube channel and publishing your performances is a great way to get your name and talent out there. One of my students, Lucinda Ora, is doing just that. Check it out here.
Many of my clients use exams as a great motivator to hone their singing and performance technique.
- Singing teacher
You may not have considered it as a performance, but singing for your singing teacher each week is just that.
Despite its faults, karaoke gives you the chance to feel what it’s like to perform in front of strangers. However, for a true indication, resist an alcoholic beverage beforehand!
Fine-tuning your performance skills is really all about putting yourself out there and progressively getting runs on the board. I suggest that you set at least one performance goal every year, and more if possible. My belief is that performing for your Mum is better than not performing at all, so make a plan and make it happen!
Ready for a live gig?
Bar 34 Bondi is a little bar in Bondi that a band/artist can book for a gig.
Liveguide provides online help to locate live gigs and plan a performance schedule.
Venue 505 is an independent venue that artists/performers can hire for a gig.
* Links in the article will be updated on an adhoc basis to keep it current.