Stop thinking when you’re on the stage! I mean it.
If you’re standing onstage and thinking about what you’re going to say, where you’re going to move, what notes you’re trying to sing, what the lyrics are, how do you look – you’re in trouble!
Or here’s another one: there’s another singer or player in the audience, so you’re singing or playing to them. Or there’s a promoter in the audience, so you’re thinking about how they like what you’re doing.
Well, if you’re thinking onstage, then you’ve already lost.
Here’s the problem with “thinking” onstage. What are we usually thinking about? Ourselves! And we’re self-conscious.
This happens almost every time I go to a show and I’m backstage. Inevitably the artist sees me and says “any last words?” And all I can say to them is – love your audience.
I can’t tell them to move over here, create a moment there. There’s no time for anything more than the best quick advice I can give them. Love your audience.
So what does that mean? Well, it means you’re not “thinking” onstage. Because if you’re loving your audience perfectly, you’re thinking about them. In fact, you’re not even thinking about them – you’re just giving yourself to them.
It means you’ve left yourself behind. You know the story of the Garden of Eden. Whether you believe the story or not, it doesn’t matter. The point is the same. Adam and Eve, created, in the garden, were running around naked — do you know why they didn’t even know they were naked? Because they were perfect, loving each other, loving God, not being self-conscious.
That changed when they disobeyed and ate the fruit. They became self-conscious. Instead of thinking about each other, they started thinking about themselves, and they realized, “oh my gosh, I’m naked!”
We do the same thing onstage. Now I doubt you’re running around naked onstage, but we do it when we say “oh no, that person’s looking at me funny,” “how do I sound,” “how do I smell,” “how do I look,” “the guitar player’s looking at me weird.”
We’re thinking… about ourselves. And it needs to stop.