It's a very strange time for musicians right now. Some folks, like myself, rely on live performances in countless ways. It's the only time I see my friends, or I feel like myself. It's the time when I shine and get to make folks happy and find my purpose. In so many ways, musicians are being cornered into a virtual world that so many of us oppose at our core. We don't want an empty room and a cold experience. We miss the comradery, the drinks, the social aspect, the energy, the exchange, the connection!
As the lockdowns get extended all over the country, the future of live events is unsure. Tensions are high, creatives are terrified and many artists are left without any traditional government assistance to help them.
An artist in my very own neighborhood sent me this note below, hoping to make sure that the locals in our County understand how awkward and foreign this live streaming process has been for so many artists. He not only reminds the public of this, but urges them to continue to support artists however they can, because our financial future feels bleak right now and not every creative will survive:
"So I had a thought today.
As a musician who performs live 3-5 nights a week, it’s not often that I get to listen back to myself. When you perform, you are just enjoying the moment. When you have to record yourself on a live stream or video and submit THAT as your performance, you become your own biggest critic. You know when you go to sing karaoke, and you hear yourself in the mic? That “I hate the way my voice sounds” moment? Imagine that feeling, every night. Now imagine getting used to that sound and starting to like what you hear and becoming confident in that sound. Then...out of nowhere, you’re forced to sing to an iPad, not a table full of people. You’re forced to look at a piece of baseboard in your music room instead of making eye contact with a person. When you get done pouring your heart into a song, you hear ABSOLUTELY NOTHING instead of a few random spatters of applause. Instead of seeing someone get up and walk to you and drop a “Five” into your tip jar, you have to wait until you’re done and check your Venmo, PayPal, CashApp or Zelle accounts. Then you have to ACTUALLY GO BACK AND WATCH THE VIDEO. All of the cringe-worthy moments. All of the weird idiosyncratic things you do while you’re singing that FEEL so right when you’re doing the thing look SO wrong when you are watching them in playback. This isn’t high school football. As musicians, we have NEVER “gone to the tape” to see ourselves performing. It is the most awkward/experience I have had as an adult. And there are a lot of your favorite local musicians out there who have created something very comfortable behind the mic, but have NEVER seen themselves from that point of view.
So...next time you see one of your favorite local artists doing their thing online, that thing you are so used to seeing from the crowd, remember that they AREN’T used to seeing/hearing themselves played back. AT ALL. We are nervous as hell, critiquing every note, every facial expression, every camera angle, everything. We are used to performing for you to listen...or not. But not for it to be recorded and posted to the world without editing it to perfection and back.
So keep supporting us. Keep requesting songs during our live streams. Keep tipping if you feel like. Because I know there are some AMAZINGLY talented musicians in Brevard who literally may not be here anymore when this is over. They’ve given this county their all. But I’m worried we might lose some of them. The way you are doing just a “little bit more” for all of the local restaurants who have needed to reinvent themselves over the past 45 days, please commit to supporting local musicians as they play online and “reinvent” themselves on the daily. Cheers."
-Guest Post by Jay Dibella, an incredibly talented Central Florida Musician living in Brevard County.
If you're a musician, I'm sure you can relate. If you're an audience member that stumbled upon this blog, then I hope you hear us and know that we, as a collection of artists, are hurting right now and we urge you to stick with us. Though it comes in many more forms than purely tips and donations, we're asking for your support. And even those not asking may need it more than you know.
But alas, hope is not lost! We've enlisted the help of the IndieBandCoach himself, Leonard Patterson to walk our members through his Livestream Checklist for Musicians, Bands, & Creatives! Now that it has become evident that live streaming events will be a huge portion of the music industry indefinitely, the best artists are figuring out how to optimize the opportunity. Leonard's charm and delivery is perfectly matched by his PDF presentation where he outlines how to be authentic and brand-aware during live streams, how to prepare for your show, what to do during that performance and how to put a bow on your stream, retaining fans, collecting tips and using creative prompts to invite engagement. Using his strategies, we're confident that artists will be able to tame this new medium and continue building into the future!
To watch the entire Industry Chat and gain access to all of our exclusive content, sign up for your free 30-Day Artist Collective Membership. Due to Coronavirus, we've extended the offer, but act now, because this offer won't last for long! We dive much deeper into the industry than just streaming and we can't wait to be a part of your music business journey! Cheers!
Be sure to connect with those featured guests below, including me!
Leonard Patterson ([email protected])
WEBSITE - www.IndieBandCoach.com
Vinnie Hines ([email protected])
WEBSITE - www.VinnieHines.com