Know what you NEED
I performed at a bat mitzvah last weekend and was pleasantly reminded that at any gig, one of your most important jobs is to know what you NEED. As a human being, there are always things we want: piles of money, vacations to the tropics, plenty of sleep, super powers. And then there are things we need: air, water, food, shelter. As you are developing as a performer, start figuring out what are your wants and what are your needs. For a German wheel performance, I want at least a 50′ by 50′ perfectly level and smooth stage floor, my own dressing room with a built in jacuzzi, a back up dance crew, over 50 moving color changing lights, an 8 course meal after the event, and a personal masseuse on site. For a German wheel act I need 25′ by 30′ level stage, a place to put on my costume, enough light to see the edge of the stage, and some music would be nice. 🙂 Now every time I do a show, the things that I will get are going to fall somewhere within this range and that negotiation is where the party starts.
Somewhere between divine diva glory and student showcase supplication you have to figure out what your essentials are and be prepared to fight for them. But you also have to know what your luxuries are and be prepared for when you will NEED to let them go.
Safety, that’s your number one. Anytime safety is an issue, we are talking about a need. Remember, sometimes that safety might be something like getting a meal break in an 8 hr work day. After you finish a show, in that hopefully glorious afterglow of a show well executed, take some time as you’re changing and de-makeuping to reflect on how the show went and what could have made it better, safer, more dynamic. In the same way you might rub a leg after a tough workout, look for the sore spots. What could have been smoother? What do you need to made things easier for you or your contact? What do you need to make the performance more engaging for an audience? Questions like this after a show are what will help you learn what you need to give your strongest possible performance. Don’t forget, if you are not getting better, you are getting worse! See you next week