Isn’t it nice when you walk by a stranger and they smile at you? Isn’t it even nicer when you’re watching live music and the musicians smile at you? When performers smile it puts the audience at ease. Yet why don’t more of us do it?
Smiling while performing for me has always been such a chore. Its not because I don’t enjoy what I’m playing or even enjoy smiling. I think its just because I’m concentrating so damn hard on the tune that I can’t possible engage my 26, or so, face muscles on top of it.
I recently had an audition to get my street performer’s permit (which I got, by the way). Before the audition one of my friends asked me if I smiled while I played. When I answered “no,” he replied “you should.” And I can’t tell you how many times my mom has seen me play and said “Trina, you should smile more.”
Smiles just plain make people feel good. So I have come up with some ways to help us concentrating musicians smile while we perform:
- Practice playing and smiling in front of a mirror, friends and family. The more you practice the easier it will get.
- Know your music inside and out so you can concentrate on smiling. Review tip #1.
- Right before performing think of something funny and try to keep that in your head throughout your performance.
- Practice smiling all the time. Even if you don’t feel happy.
- Smile at every stranger you see while walking down the street. (I’m not sure if this will help your performance but it will make a lot of people feel really good so why not?).
What are some of your tips to smile while you play?