How do the great performers do it, maintain their freshness as a performer and surprise audiences by re-inventing themselves through their performance? Here are some useful tips:
1. Take regular time out. All top performers throughout history have been aware of ‘time out’. Looking at new material and looking across the board of performance and even to other fields are therefore essential habits and part of the package of being a performer. A complete break for R & D (research and development) can allow a trajectory into innovative ventures that set new benchmarks in one’s field and influence others.
2. Maintain a global outlook for what’s happening generally in performance, and get a sense of what the Zietgeist presents or requires. Often your own inspirational, creative concepts can be measured by what else is happening globally, or indeed, what is not happening locally.
3. Allow sufficient time for performance preparation. Though this may sound obvious, performance preparation generally takes longer than one thinks , allowing for life’s surprises along the way. Allowing sufficient gestation time for new material to sit comfortably in performance practice gives one confidence – well worth the nurturing and polishing – for a desirable sparkling performance.
3. Maintain your health and fitness with a daily strategies program for mind-body health and fitness. One is setting a positive example to others in one’s performance. With every part of you involved while performing, the mental, physical, technical and emotional aspects all need to to align naturally.
4. Keep your novel performance concepts private! Especially if solo performing, it’s wise not to reveal your next performance ‘move’ (other than perhaps to your most inner trusted source). A trapeze-like balance is required, for one often needs to talk through or trial one’s new concepts. Allow your own past experiences, past disappointments, and your gut instinct be your present guide as to how your new project should unfold.
5. Enjoy the process and feel thoroughly inspired and confident in your performance preparation. This enjoyment and freshness will carry through to an inspired performance.
6. Practise visualising your upcoming successful performance. Image your confident performance regularly and success will be truly yours.
My health-oriented book, ‘Performance Confidence: A Training Program for Musicians’ assists all types of musicians – from aspirational students through to professionals – to achieve what is suggested here.