“To be on stage is to be in charge.”
–The Musician’s Way, p. 179
Take a moment to recall the stage presence of some memorable soloists: Don’t they convey authenticity and enjoyment?
Authenticity and enjoyment are common features of commanding performers, so it can falsely seem that stage presence arises from inborn traits, akin to personality.
In fact, projecting a commanding presence from the stage involves skills that any musician can learn.
Here, I encapsulate four essential components of stage presence that I expand on throughout The Musician’s Way: 1. preparation; 2. desire; 3. strength; 4. showmanship.
Four Components of Stage Presence
Thorough artistic and technical preparation underpins our ability to be secure and expressive under the lights.
Similarly, smart organization ahead of events ensures that we arrive on time, in a positive mood, and with all of our equipment ready.
Audiences look to us to lead them on musical journeys. So, whether we’re outgoing or laid-back, we need to hold the stage with the vigor of leaders.
To that end, it’s crucial that we maintain our mental and physical health, ensuring that we’re rested, enthusiastic, and strong when the curtain rises.
Showmanship (or show-womanship) entails projecting our love of music and our desire to commune with listeners. It doesn’t equate with flamboyance.
See The Musician’s Way for comprehensive guidelines to excel as a performing artist.
© 2012 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © T. Morozova, licensed from Shutterstock.com