Why NBCs ‘The Voice’ is Awesome!!

I believe that this is the 13th season of American Idol.  The best part of the show is the auditions, I can care less for the rest of the show.  When the voice debuted I was kinda over the reality sing offs, but the voice is different.  Since 2011 they have helped singers take their performance to the next level.  The judges are coaches that teach each performer how to own the stage, perfect their voice, and create a show out of their  performance.

Recently I was offering advice to a performer about how to take their show to the next level.  The most important question I was asked was “What do you mean create a show?”

What can your audience expect from your performance?

I have purchased a ticket to see Bruno Mars this summer in concert.  Before I paid for this ticket I thought about what a Bruno Mars show would look like.  If you have ever seen him perform you know that you are in for a treat. From his voice to the choreography of his band – his show is awesome.

When creating your set list, do you move differently to a slow song than you do to a fast song?

Remember that you are on the stage to entertain your audience. Keep them engaged. Leave them with an idea of what to expect the next time they see you perform.

“There are loads of musicians who will tell you that a performance should be spontaneous, and rehearsing it ruins the magic. And while this is partially true, I’m a firm believer in the fact that there’s no harm in at least having at least a rough idea of what you’ll be saying and doing on stage. There’s nothing more embarrassing than finding yourself at a loss for words between songs or standing around like a scarecrow because you’re fresh out of ideas.”  –  Steven Tyler

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Building Your Personal Brand

What is in a name?   Can you be trusted?

Building a reputation for yourself takes a lot of work.  If your personal integrity is in tact it is really not as hard as you may think.  Decide what it is you want people to think when they hear your name or are in your presence.  Do they smile? Frown? Shake their head? Get excited? Think about the lasting impressions you leave with people.

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that leave the biggest impressions. Where you on time? Did you arrive ready to work? Positive attitude? Easy to work with? Flexible? I always tell people to be “Early, On Time” when I hire them.  It is always important to be on time, but in production it is essential.  If you were tardy to the party (I couldn’t resist lol) and did not receive a call back, take it as a learning experience.

The wave of reality shows have altered people’s sense of reality.  Having a bad attitude does not equal success.  I am a firm believer that you should stand up for yourself and expect respect at all times, but your reaction to dissatisfaction can be a game changer. You never know who is watching.

“Personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”
– John Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com

What type of brand are you building?

So You Think You Can Sing

I meet many people with the desire to become a professional performer.  They sing in the choir, in the shower, in the car, at karaoke, or at their desk.  But does this mean that they could be the next Whitney Houston?

Contrary to popular belief, most professional performers are not signed after humming a tune while pumping their gas or standing in the grocery aisle.  Just like anything worth having, pursing a professional career requires a lot of work.

It’s great to have supportive family and friends who cheer you all the time.  But having a friend or family member tell you when you’re off key or miss a note is priceless. 

If you have the talent and desire, here are a few things that I suggest you do to become great.

  1. Get a vocal coach.  Everyone (even professionals) uses a coach.  They teach you how to stay on key, sing properly, and how to breathe correctly.  Intonation and pitch is everything.
  2. Sing in front of people. Go to an Open Mic or Karaoke night and get comfortable in front of people.
  3. Audition. Whenever you hear about an audition, audition.  You learn so much auditioning and even more with rejections.
  4. Find your sound. Figure out what your sound is. What type of music works for your voice. This way you can have a signature sound that identifies you and sets you apart from others.
  5. Make friends. Get out and network. Make friends with musicians and singers.  The benefits of networking is another blog post. Just go do it.
  6. Get a band or join one.
  7. Perform. Be open to perform for $0 to $1000 but perform each time like you are being paid $1,000,000
  8. Have fun. If this is something that you truly enjoy – Enjoy It!