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I'm a 31-year-old songwriter who's been having singing lessons for about a year now (although I'm currently without a teacher). I feel I've made good progress even if I have a lot more work to do. However, I'm beginning to wonder if I have what it takes to be a singer. I've done a few performances at open mic nights, and the response has been somewhat mixed. I get nervous on stage and probably don't look like I'm enjoying it too much. I know you can't expect to run before you can walk, but maybe it's obvious to everyone but me that I'm never going to develop that elusive "stage presence". I'm not the world's most confident person as it is, but I have enjoyed performing before in other situations and I feel I can get back to this feeling if I just give it a chance.
By the way - yes, I have read the articles on this site on stage presence. I just wondered if anyone else had any other angles on the subject. Like how to decide whether you have the potential to develop or not.
I think it takes practice, and a bit of confidence. When I played my first gig as a guitarist/singer, I was terrified and nervous as anything. Looked like a wooden cut-out....
As I did more and more and cut out the singing (which I'm not that good at), I began to relax more, and actually enjoy being there. That shows in your face, and grows your confidence, which then improves your presence.
Hope that helps! What area are you in?
I read your post and my advice to you would be to relax. Walk tall and important - that way the audience will feel that you mean business and they're more likely to give you their undevided attention. Smile and adopt the most open body postures you can think of. That way you won't come across as uptight, even if you are really shaking like a leaf! Perhaps you might like to try relaxation/breathing techniques just before you go on stage.
Most importantly: ENJOY yourself!!!!! You know you're good at what you're doing, so even if the odd person in your audience doesn't appreciate what you do, well, they probably haven't washed their ears in a while and shouldn't even be there!
Thanks for your comments, I will try to bear them in mind the next time I perform. As for your question, John, what do you mean by area - type of music or geographical location? If you mean the first, well it's a mixture of pop, rock, folk, jazz and classical, and if you mean the second, southern Sweden is your answer.
Another question to you all - what do you talk about on stage in between songs? I know you should keep it short and all that but I really am so nervous and whatever I say comes out sounding incredibly boring. Any tips?
I am the drummer / sineger of the Cover-Ups. Jan gave you fantastic advice. Follow those and another thing. Relax mate. It's not the end of the world even if you are not the best of the best. It seems to me that you care waaaaaaay too much as to what impression you leave to people. If you stop thinking like that, you will relax and enjoy. And people will like that and will respond. Never had any lessons and crap like that. but I believe in what I am doing and that's why people love my "singing" and playing and of course the band. But I go out to enjoy myself and kick ass. So think along these lines. "I will kick eveyone's ass today"