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A Classic Case

“The phone rang. On the other end of the line was the drummer for a band I’d heard before and thought had a lot of potential. He was really upset and wanted some advice.”

When I wrote the chapter on “Fundamentals” in my Live Music Method Book, I knew that was exactly the story to start it with.

You see, it’s not that most artists don’t realize they need to be doing something onstage… they just don’t know what to do! And the story I tell at the beginning of that chapter gives a great example of what happens when an artist doesn’t spend the time, energy, and money learning how to put a show together.

As I related the story of what happened with this particular band, I remembered they were actually a pretty high energy group with a charismatic lead singer. A lot of bands in their position would have thought they were “rockin'” too.

And their manager had told them they needed to be active onstage and moving around. But without the right kind of direction, and without the understanding of why they needed to move or the visual communication signals they were sending their audience – it was pretty useless.

As I say in the book, “It was a classic case of a band whose songs didn’t sound the same, but they all looked the same. They worked hard on their songwriting and getting tight musically, but they had no understanding of the fundamentals and tools needed to put together a great show!”

We often get calls and emails to see whether I or one of my associates will work with an artist, only to find out later that they opted to go with a cheaper “performance coach.” The problem is, we aren’t “performance coaches.”

What we do has a lot more to do with teaching artists the “what’s,” “why’s” and “how’s”: the why of moving onstage; what an audience expects; the skills of confidence, authority, and charisma; how to fulfill roles onstage; keeping the visual integrity of the song; and on and on on…

The difference between us and a performance coach is like the difference between a film director and the camera person. The camera person has probably picked up some great tips along the way, and they are no doubt skilled at what they do – but it doesn’t mean they have the expertise it takes to put together a movie.

We want to put all the pieces together for your live show!

Just part of that is the movement onstage, but it’s not a bad place to start. Read my Backstage Pass article It Should Be Obvious. Or watch this video where I work with an artist on movement during a Bootcamp showcase – Backstage Pass required…


Tom Jackson

Tom is uniquely talented and skilled at transforming an artist's live show into a magical experience for the audience; helping artists at every level create a live show that is engaging and memorable, teaching them to exceed their audiences' expectations and to create fans for life. Tom has taught indie and major artists of every genre. He has worked with Taylor Swift, Le Crae, Home Free, The Tenors, Shawn Mendes, The Band Perry, Francesca Battistelli, Jars of Clay, & many more. Tom also teaches at colleges, conferences and events worldwide.

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