#5 – Stage Presence

Histrionics or Passion?

THIS is a sensitive subject for some. You’re on stage, you know you need to entertain as well as play… so you start to ‘move-around’. You’ve notified your face of the performance-alert, and now you’re smiling (or making big guitar faces ).

Yes, sometimes there is stage direction given for show-flow, where to be /when and so forth.

However, for me at least, here’s the rub: Is it done with soul-less histrionics, or movement out of passion?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it look like the former… and sometimes the movement looks learned or planned and doesn’t even fit the genre of music. Yes, people respond to energy and motion… but they respond MORE to authenticity (IMHO).

I’ve discussed this idea with some who have responded “you’re one to talk! You NEVER stop moving!!” I’ve needed to explain many times that I have NO IDEA how I’m moving. It just ‘happens’. Sometimes, I’m even airborne…no idea how I got there. Something in the music and my execution of whatever I was playing at that moment made me jump… or a leg flies in the air… or a note gets pinched with a facial wince until the end of it’s musical job for that moment.

Here is the ‘key’ (I think)…

Music itself is in YOU. The emotional/spiritual place where there are no words in each of us is sometimes expressed through music. It evokes powerful emotions beyond words. Therefore, I really try to focus on letting my body be the vehicle by which I deliver the sonic-emotional assault from me that you are about to receive. My guitar just happens to be a ‘helpful-hinderance’ in my way.  So I try to play it like I’m breaking out of an emotional prison to communicate with the audience. The movement or ‘stage presence’ stays more authentic and meaningful that way (again, IMHO).

So ya, my advice for the day… Let your body be the vehicle by which you deliver your sonic messaging. If there is an instrument in your way, use it to explain what your body is trying to say.

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