Thoughts Speak Louder Than Dance Moves
Being both a mathematician and an artist means I try to over analyze everything I do in the arts, nail it down to a science in order to continuously replicate the positives, and weed out the negatives. One of the things I’ve been experimenting with is what to think about when I’m on stage. Here is a small list of things I’ve definitely thought about on stage (though there have been plenty more!):
1. TAP! Dub dub dub, okay invert time SMILE BITCH la la la oh nailed that move hmmm and BEAT DROPS HAIR FLIP OH YEAH
2. Ugh why can’t I hear the audience am I not good enough what the hell is happening
4. *sings entire song in head with eyes closed, enjoying myself but forgetting about the audience*
5. Okay audience let’s make LOVE… Hey friend you’ve got pretty hair, look how pretty my butt is
6. *focused too much on what’s coming next instead of what is happening right now*
7. I AM A GLITTERY GREEN FAIRY THIS IS MY LIFE YAAAAAAAASSS
8. Omg is that my high school physics teacher?!?!
9. I’m tired
Here are the consequences of each of my few examples:
1. This works great for remembering choreography, and looks great on you when you’re landing a move, but the transitions end up getting lost
2. As someone who is a succubus for audience energy, this is the worst feeling and observation. It is something that absolutely must be overcome or you will NEVER recover. Avoid this thought at all costs, even if it is true. Instead, convince yourself that you’re hypnotic and if they were to applaud you, then that means they broke out of the hypnosis your majestic beauty put them into.
3. You know… this actually pretty delightful. This can be positive, negative, or neutral. It all depends on what happens to your face when your mind is blank. Having a blank mind could mean that your muscle memory and strength is SO GOOD that you don’t have to think about anything. Having a blank mind tends to look like you’re dancing in your bedroom by yourself, completely vulnerable. So while you may not be breaking the fourth wall explicitly, in a sense, you are because you may appear as if you’re letting people into your personal space. People can smell fear or agitation. If your mind is blank, that means you aren’t expressing any self-doubt. This can be powerful. Think of it as a meditation.
4. Bahahhahaha while this is good for you, don’t be selfish. You are an entertainer. Do your job and remember to engage the audience. The audience isn’t paying to watch you have a good time. But you’re almost there! You’ve rid yourself of any nervous vibes.
5. So this is literally the reason I’m booked for a lot of the shows I participate in. I walk off the main stage and flirt with people, hand out love letters, put my bum into people’s faces, and more. This is a successful thought if you need audience engagement. This makes you memorable. This is where connection is made. BUT I would not have these thoughts while on the main stage because I’ll look distracted. These thoughts can only be pulled out when I’m out and about and in your lap.
6. THE AUDIENCE READS THIS. This makes you look like a novice. This ruins any and all surprises that you may have tried to hide from the audience.
7. Okay this is delightful. If you’re performing a high energy piece, this is a GOLD MINE for fantastic energy. Embrace the badass that you are! Revel in it!
8. This literally happens to me because I live in a small city, and I went to high school 25 minutes east of the downtown area so… ya know, it will shock you. You can choose how you want to deal with seeing people you least expect. You’re already naked on a stage, you can’t hide. You can call it out and break the fourth wall if you want. You can literally wave or wink and acknowledge this ridiculous thing that is happening. Or if this is too shocking, turn around for a second, let the audience look at your beautiful bum, take a deep breath, and forget about it. Those are your only options. Make a decision and get over it, either way.
9. If you really feel this way, consider NOT PERFORMING. You will look bad, your audience will see it, you’ll bring down the show. Either down a red bull, or talk to your producer. 9/10 producers understand. If you were in my show and told me that, I’d tell you to caffeine up, stage hand, or go home. You have free will. I am more impressed with people who are self aware than people who just “push through” shit. Because if you give a bad performance, I am way less likely to ever book you again.
The most successful thing you can do to increase your stage presence is to CHOREOGRAPH YOUR THOUGHTS JUST LIKE YOUR CHOREOGRAPH MOVES INTO YOUR ROUTINE. Need help figuring out how to do this? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a private lesson.
Your Favorite Green Fairy,