LOL, LOVE the tin foil hat comment.
For me, I have learned that if I resolve to play for **myself** and no one else at a gig, I am golden… Calm, relaxed and inspired. Mistakes do not upset me. Being extremely friendly and “folksy” with the crowd also helps enormously, because I’m conveying that “Hey, I’m one of you”. In that way I know that they want me to succeed and mistakes will even more easily go right over their heads. Not every artist can pull off “folksy” rapport-building, as some are more intense than others, but if you can pull it off, use it to your advantage.
Do not acknowledge small mistakes in any way. You will often see a seasoned performer make a slight little face when they make a mistake. Train yourself away from that. Small mistakes that are not acknowledged by you are not perceptible to the audience. Even if they notice for a split-second, they are being flooded with so much new information as you keep playing, that your not acknowledging the mistake causes them to subconsciously think “That must not have been a mistake”. They don’t think that in words, rather it’s an instantaneous perception. Mistakes don’t exist for them if they don’t exist for you.
With large mistakes, acknowledge them, make a joke about them, and you will further demonstrate, “Hey, I’m one of you”. They accept you as being on their team because you have developed rapport with them earlier.
Back to settling the nerves, the trick for me is to simply shift attention completely away from the audience and onto what I am doing. I do it intuitively at this point, so it’s hard to articulate exactly how I do it, but it’s like switching a light switch. You are aware of the audience but 95% of your attention is on making music and playing for yourself. I think that can only be learned through experience and intent.
From: michael klobuchar [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
wear a tin foil hat, this will make you invisable.....then play LOUD AND FAST.....or you could draw the audience in by showing
them what looping is, if they are not hip to it yet.....make converts, it is a church group, no?.....the PANIC never goes away, make
friends with that energy.....have FUN!.....but remember, once they know that you are a looper, all things will change in your life!