On Monday 29th June I played in Bedford at the Devonshire Arms where the landlord Martin runs an open mic night every Monday. I took my ukulele and played some of my silly songs: It’s Time To Go, I’m Fond Of A Train and Christmas In The Pound Shop as well as a cover of Substitute by The Who on Martin’s lovely Taylor guitar. But I made some mistakes which I need to avoid in the future, and maybe writing them in a blog might help me to remember as I have a tendency not to learn from these things. My throat was a bit dry and I need to remember that alcohol rarely seems to help. I’m not going to knock people’s socks off with virtuosity so I need to make sure my voice is in good shape. Also, if I’m taking a ukulele I ALWAYS need to take an electronic tuner. It’s one less thing to worry about and struggle with if it only takes a second to get the thing in tune as they are notorious for going out due to the slack C string. The other thing is confidence in performing and trying to engage with the audience even if they don’t seem to be paying attention (I’m not saying the audience last night weren’t but I need to bear this in mind as a general rule). This is what you could call “turning on the showbiz”, presenting yourself onstage like a proper performer would. It’s an extra level of professionalism to rise above how you’re feeling and perform like you do it every night and get paid for it, and look like you’re pleased to be there. Another phrase you could use to describe it is “fake it till you make it”. I rehearse a lot at home but I could always do more, and staying sharp by playing at my local open mic nights is very important.
All in all it was a fun evening and this is the furthest from home I’ve performed so far.
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