Being on stage is a nervous and exposing experience for even the most experienced of artists. The adrenalin can sometimes get the better of you and you can make decisions on stage that you later on will kick yourself for. It’s very important to get into good habits so that you don’t let nervous energy get the better of you and make you do things you’ll regret.
1. Don’t insult the audience
If the audience isn’t paying attention, you can hear them talking or there isn’t enough of them then don’t bring it up. All you’re doing is drawing attention to the people who aren’t enjoying the music. Play to the people that are enjoying it, these are the people that will come again, these are the people that will buy your music in the future, these are your potential fans. Also if you keep the mood and the performance up you might turn some of the chatters into attentive audience members and then fans. You aren’t going to get anyone onside by telling them off.
2. Don’t address your friends
First step en route to becoming a professional is behaving like one. People have to believe that you are a professional to invest the attention that a professional warrants. If you are onstage making in-jokes to your friends whilst subjecting the rest of the crowd to them then they’re going to feel alienated and lose interest quickly. You are performing to everyone.
3. Don’t slag off the sound
You are completely within your rights as an artist, whilst you are performing to ask for more vocal, less bass in your wedge etc. But make sure that never moves into complaining or apologising to the crowd because you’re not happy with the sound. Why oh why would you draw the crowds attention to a negative. You are noticing it so much more than they are so just do your best and if you have anything to say to the sound engineer, say it nicely.
4. Don’t make a joke of your mistakes
If you make a mistake such as forgetting a lyric, hitting a bum note or missing a cue then the best thing you can do is move on as quickly as you can having corrected your mistake, found your place in the song or just ignoring it completely. The chances are the no one in the audience has noticed. Do not attempt to make a joke of your mistake, no one in the crowd will really think its funny and you are only doing it because you’re nervous and embarrassed and people can tell.
5. Don’t stage dive (almost ever)
If you are on stage and you are wondering, “Should I stage dive?” Then you definitely should not stage dive. If there is even a moments hesitation in your brain about if a stage dive would be appropriate, then it wouldn’t be. Stage dives should be like Snow Leopards, rarely seen in small music venues unless its a very special occasion.