Stage Presence

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Stage Presence

Postby Sloom » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:34 pm

I'm just venting a little here, as it's been on my mind...

I have come to terms, just recently, with my demeanor on-stage. I have always tended to be sort of stoic- maybe even dour, as it were- when performing.

Don't get me wrong, I don't bring bummers to a performance. I'm 100% way into the music and what I'm doing with it. Trouble has to wait outside or get let off a mile or three back up the road. I love playing the bass, and I look forward to it with enthusiasm! I just don't get that "Happy Face" thing going on, is all. Can't do it, it don't happen. I've been accused of being as bubbly as a mortician in Dodge City on Wyatt Earp's birthday... but I tell ye, I AM smiling!

For my defense, when the reggae band I play with , Rebel Heat, is done for the night and all the happy (and bubbly) party-goers and boogie-downers are going home, I get high-fives, hyper hand-shakes and hugs from whomever wants to say 'thank you' to the band. I contribute to the groove, the energy, the music, the happening, and it's big! But my keen interest in it all seems to mostly end there! I'm just not going to end up as a social director on a large cruise ship...

So I've finally acquiesced to it. I've released the issue, and just gone with the fact that I'm "the serious guy"... maybe even "the kind of scary guy" in the band. But it's still a cool and fun band, so I'm alright with it.

Just had to get that off my chest after 30+ years of being told to "Smile, Rog!".

I AM smiling... [smilie=cool-smiley-031.gif]
"Whatever we do, it is what it is, and we do it".
-The Grubs.


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Re: Stage Presence

Postby aussiemark » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:12 pm

Smiling isn't compulsory, provided you're doing more than shoegazing, and your feet aren't nailed to the floor.
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Re: Stage Presence

Postby Father Gino » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:44 pm

I can definitely relate! Why don't you smile? You look better when you smile!

Hey, I'm smilin' on the inside!

I even tried to wear sunglasses [smilie=cool-smiley-031.gif] inside so at least I'd look more cool than dour. But it's not so cool to trip over stuff and fall off the stage.

OTOH, Bill Wyman's career didn't seem to suffer too much from this affliction.
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Re: Stage Presence

Postby aussiemark » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:07 am

Father Gino wrote:OTOH, Bill Wyman's career didn't seem to suffer too much from this affliction.


I remember reading a quote where Bill said the reason he looked down all the time was that he was checking out girls in the first few rows.
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Re: Stage Presence

Postby GonzoBass » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:20 am

Most of the club stages here are a little too small to do the splits off of the amp
[smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]
but a little eye contact goes a long way
especially with those who are enjoying the band
and making eye contact with you
(dancers?).
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Re: Stage Presence

Postby Sloom » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:02 am

GonzoBass wrote:Most of the club stages here are a little too small to do the splits off of the amp
[smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]
but a little eye contact goes a long way
especially with those who are enjoying the band
and making eye contact with you
(dancers?).


Naaaahhh... I just scare them. [smilie=grinning-smiley-044.gif]

That happens at times- you can't help it once in a while, when you're digging what's going on on the floor there. A good crowd brings out that other side of performing for me. But I still generally have the appearance of a dour sort, more or less. I just figure it's the bass player persona. It's my place to be- my Happy Place!
"Whatever we do, it is what it is, and we do it".
-The Grubs.


Tad Lackluster's Soundcloud
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Re: Stage Presence

Postby nig » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:47 am

I can relate to your thread, but, be yourself, the crowd know and enjoy a musician being in that place, you dont have to have a smiley face, sometimes I play for ages with my eyes shut, thats just what happens, open my eyes and find aload of people watchin...
'Using yesterdays technology to create tommorrows problems today'

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Re: Stage Presence

Postby MickeyOne » Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:21 am

I find that playing music cuts through the bull to how I am really feeling.
If I am angry it becomes clearer while playing.
Music=Truth
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Re: Stage Presence

Postby Sloom » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:38 pm

nig wrote:I can relate to your thread, but, be yourself, the crowd know and enjoy a musician being in that place, you dont have to have a smiley face...


Exactly true. I'm always appreciated for what I am or have been to the audience. Good enough.

Mickey, I know what you mean there. For my part, I have found that I can allow the event of playing to supersede whatever else I'm going through. Maybe it's rooted in a troubled attitude, but I can let a lot of interior stuff go for the sake of playing a gig! Still doesn't make me smile like a dang fool, but I'm concentrating on my playing! [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]
"Whatever we do, it is what it is, and we do it".
-The Grubs.


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Re: Stage Presence

Postby Mike Childree » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:24 am

I don't work too hard at it any more...I've found that my beauty is showy enough. [smilie=icon_confused.gif]
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Re: Stage Presence

Postby Sloom » Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:25 am

Mike Childree wrote:I don't work too hard at it any more...I've found that my beauty is showy enough. [smilie=icon_confused.gif]


Hah! Well in my case it goes with a playing ethic based on economy: Less is more! [smilie=cool-smiley-031.gif]
"Whatever we do, it is what it is, and we do it".
-The Grubs.


Tad Lackluster's Soundcloud
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Re: Stage Presence

Postby Cneck » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:13 am

Well, there's Entwistle, and there's Flea. I can't quite do the Flea thing, but I'm trying to be less stoic than Entwistle. 'Course, I'm 51 today, and weigh about as much as two Fleas, so I won't be hopping around quite as much as he does. Maybe I'm just not coordinated enough to jump around like a nut while I'm playing. I do work the eye contact thing, though.
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Re: Stage Presence

Postby Migranpedal » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:57 am

Never worried about it much but tomorrow I´ll be hitting the stage in front of more than +5000 people. We´re not the central act but I´m shitting my pants with just the thought of it.
Stage fear can ruin any stage presence attempt. I´ll have to deal with this the best I can.
One thing I resently read, doing a bit of research on the subject is to get a mirror large enough to reflect full body movement. Do some playback and acting of the songs you perform and if you´re happy with the movements, attitude, facial expresion, etc., that will do fine. You´ll be looking at yourself the same way the audience will be appreciating the show and you can be your best judge!! [smilie=grinning-smiley-003.gif]
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Re: Stage Presence

Postby aussiemark » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:10 pm

Migranpedal wrote:Never worried about it much but tomorrow I´ll be hitting the stage in front of more than +5000 people. We´re not the central act but I´m shitting my pants with just the thought of it.
Stage fear can ruin any stage presence attempt. I´ll have to deal with this the best I can.


In my day job I do a lot of presentations in front of large groups of people. I don't enjoy it at all but over the years I've learned to be pretty good at it. Without a bass strapped on standing in front of a big crowd with all their eyes on you can be daunting. The best ever tip I was given about maintaining your composure when stage fright hits is to not look directly at any of the people in the audience. Instead, find something on the back wall just above the heads of the audience, and use that as your point of eye contact. The audience won't realise that you're actually looking above them and will think you're confidently maintaining eye contact with them. This tip works great when playing in a band where there is a big audience.
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Re: Stage Presence

Postby MickeyOne » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:36 pm

[quote="Migranpedal"]Never worried about it much but tomorrow I´ll be hitting the stage in front of more than +5000 people. We´re not the central act but I´m shitting my pants with just the thought of it.
Stage fear can ruin any stage presence attempt. I´ll have to deal with this the best I can.
One thing I resently read, doing a bit of research on the subject is to get a mirror large enough to reflect full body movement. Do some playback and acting of the songs you perform and if you´re happy with the movements, attitude, facial expresion, etc., that will do fine. You´ll be looking at yourself the same way the audience will be appreciating the show and you can be your best judge!! [smilie=grinning-smiley-003.gif][/quote]

Relax your just the bass player. 99% of the audience will be looking at the singer or guitard, the other one percent are bassists and on your side.
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