Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Creating a professional image for your musical act

I realize that I am long overdue for letting you all know what I have been up to. Although I have not been doing too many shows lately, I have been busy. I have been working in a new area which I refer to as “Professional Image Building” where I work with bands and entertainers to teach them the “tools” they need to stand out from the rest, such as creating a visual image on stage, planning an effective set list, connecting with the audience and creating memorable moments. When you see a live band or entertainer in concert, haven’t you noticed that some, although their music is good, they just don’t give you much to talk about when you tell others about the show, while other acts bring you to tears and leave you thinking that you have never seen anything that great before. This is the difference between a good band and a great band!

After almost 50 years of professional entertaining, I am now in a position to share with others what I have learned on these topics. What brought all of this on was that four years ago I joined a professional gospel show band. We rehearsed the music over-and-over until all of the mistakes were gone and we could perform the songs flawlessly under any conditions. But all bands do this, don’t they? What was different is that we spent much of our rehearsal time working on the show – what to say, who says what, how to talk to the audience, arranging our songs in the best order, arranging each song so that is creates a “moment” and captures the listener’s attention, and then sucks them into the song and transforms them, and so on.

When we put all of this to the test on stage in front of an audience, I could see how this made a huge difference in how we connected with the audience. After being in the business for so long, I already knew most of this stuff, but I never bothered to rehearse it and work on it deliberately. I also studied other acts, attended workshops and watch many videos by people who specialize in creating an image for a band. I took all of the knowledge I already had and expanded on it a lot!

I then felt that I would be using my talents better to help other musical acts rather than to concentrate on my own act, so I started putting on workshops. They were a success, and my new music career was launched.

Here is some of the things we work on in one of my workshop series:
·         Planning a set list
·         Your songs don’t sound the same, why should they look the same?
·         Moving on stage
·         Body language/eye contact
·         Planning a show
·         Using mic stands
·         Using stools
·         Volume and balance
·         What to say and when to say it
·         Creating a “moment”
This is only a small sample – there is naturally a whole lot more to it, but in case up until now you had no idea what I was talking about, perhaps you can now see the importance of applying these skills to your own act.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of having me work with you or your band, please contact me at tom@tomsmerk.com, and we can talk more about it. Every performer and band receives individualized counseling – there is not “one” formula that works with everyone. In fact, we will work on each individual song separately until the song creates a momentous connection with your audience. We will look at many songs on your set list, choose the ones to use in your show and discuss why other songs are best left off the list. In a band, each member learns their part in the show, both musically and visually.

This is a wise investment in your future, so please discuss this and hopefully get back to me. Good luck!


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