Lost Password?

Taking Yourself Too Seriously

Giancarlo Guerrero, director Nashville Symphony Orchestra

I finally got the chance to go and hear the Nashville Symphony this year, and it was a truly incredible concert.

But I have to admit, I’d forgotten how serious and reverent that audience is. It’s a hotbed for suppressed laughter, simply because you know you have to be quiet and listen.

It didn’t help that after the conductor walked out, my friend leaned over and whispered, “He looks just like Gene Simmons!”

Right after I suppressed that laugh and the orchestra started to play, my husband leaned over and whispered in my other ear, “This music always reminds me of cartoons.” I was a goner. It was all I could do to remain serious.

So this morning, when I checked my email, I saw that my mom had sent me this great video that made me say, Ah-HA! Even the symphony doesn’t have to be serious and stuffy all of the time. Even that crowd likes to laugh.

Check it out:

Hilarious! The crowd loved it. What an amazing reaction. A fun,creative moment like this is so unexpected in this type of concert, but totally refreshing! And, it works.

Some artists give us push-back on putting a fun moment into their set… they think it is somehow hokey or ‘not cool’. The thing is, if you execute it well, the audience always loves it, and remembers it. Fun always works.

If you are wondering how you might get the “Fun Moment” to work in your show, why not buy a Backstage Pass, then click here and check out the free Webinar I’ll be doing on Set Lists & Transitions: Making Tom’s graph work for you…

If the high-brow symphony can do it, you can do it.

And if the Nashville Symphony would have done something like this the night I went, I would have had a much-needed outlet for my suppressed laughter!


Amy Wolter

As a trained Live Music Producer for Tom Jackson Productions, Amy Wolter brings her years onstage as a lead singer & keyboardist - along with her experience as a producer, arranger, and songwriter - to singers and bands who won’t settle for ‘good enough’. She’s worked with artists at all levels, and genres ranging from Rock to Celtic, empowering them to have confidence and authority onstage, and put on memorable live shows, a few of whom have been on two of the largest US tours in recent history. Some of her clients include Grammy award winners The Band Perry & Lacrae, CMA and ACM –winning country acts, Gloriana & Thompson Square, 2016 The Voice contestant Mary Sarah, CCMA (Canada) winners High Valley, Jess Moskaluke & Chad Brownlee, and Winter Jam Tour veterans Sidewalk Prophets & Love and The Outcome.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:

Greenroom Comments

  1. This was hilarious and certainly proves the point! I’ve had so much fun adding ‘fun’ moments to my concerts that it I now have several to choose from and it’s hard to cut any of them out!

  2. This is funny! I have found humor to go over well even in a church setting. In my current set I have added a few funny moments. After I do a tribute song to a friend of mine who died of cancer about two and a half years ago, and a lot of people are tearing up because all of us have lost someone close to us, I puase a few moments, step up to the mic and do a funny song about a PE teacher (me) singing about how summer vacation is his favorite subject to teach. It changes the whole mood.

    I then do a very poor Elvis imitation and then go into a patriotic set ending with an a capella version of God Bless America. I have also found goofy sun glasses that light up go well on certian songs!

    I also bring up kids sometimes to do a goofy song. people tend to love the goofy stuff. I think even in a church setting people still like to laugh and have fun.

    My next challenge is trying to come up with a fun moment during my Christmas Story Guitar Cantata concerts. These concerts are usually a little more formal than one of my general concerts, so I am trying to figure out a way to a fun song into it. Not to say that the concert isn’t fun itself, it is just done more in a cantata type format.

    One brain storming idea I have is to say OK, we need to pause for a commercial break and then bring some kids up to sing Jingle Bells while playing bells and then resume with the concert.

    I am not sure yet, but I am still working on the new concept.


  3. Wade McNutt says:

    This makes me think of Victor Borge! YouTube his name and “Page Turner” and you will be happy! Great music…real fun : )

    • Wade, I saw Victor Borge 30 years ago, and he made me laugh until I cried! Then he played some of THE most beautiful piano pieces I have ever heard with grace and virtuosity, and I cried some more… moments I will remember all my life!

  4. Gail Gordon says:

    This is exactly RIGHT! This past weekend we had two gigs back to back over 260 miles away and rooms were not in the budget! It was going to be a long grueling day of driving, performing, driving some more and performing, and then driving back home.

    At the first gig during the break before the last set our bass player, a great guy with a terrific sense of humor, sneaks into the men’s room and puts on a Bob Marley wig he’d picked up for $8 bucks at Wal Mart with the longest dreds I’ve ever seen. Joe, who is lily white, saunters on stage – late – but with “attitude” sporting his “DO”! The audience went crazy, we went crazy. He repeated the performance at our second gig that night, receiving the same response from the audience. Heck, we cracked up too and we knew it was coming.

    It’s been our experience that doing two things has impressed our audience most. When we have a birthday person in the house rather than just playing the obligatory HB song of some configuration, we always get them up on stage playing tambourine along with one of our songs. There is ALWAYS someone present who takes video of this performance with their cell phone and the crowd goes wild over it. The birthday boy or girl can check that one off their bucket list , “the day I sat in with…” and has the video to prove it. Works like a charm. Audiences love it when they have video of themselves having fun.

    The other thing that works is humor at ourselves. Most nights the band is pretty tight and the vocals are consistently good. There is one song, one that really spotlights the talents of everyone in the band with great solos, tempo changes, introductions, etc. it’s the show piece of the night, and it really cries out for a terrifically hight closing note at the end. A note I simply cannot reach… I don’t always reach for it, but sometimes I do. If I hit it, then it’s a miracle, if I don’t… we’ll we all just laugh it off. The guys make a little show out of waiting to see if I’ll make it and since it’s a gospel kind of tune, hands praying is part of it and If I hit it then it’s hallelujah hands to heaven, if not it’s “ah shucks, maybe next time.” The crowd goes wild and who knows maybe one day I will hit that note after all but until then we just have fun with it. The audience is witnessing really talented musicians who don’t take themselves too seriously.

    Two really easy “moments” that are just for fun. We already had these in our show before I singed up here, but damn it’s good to get affirmation about it.

    Keep on keepin’ on.

    Gail Gordon
    TAXI Dancer Band

    • Awesome Gail! Love these ideas. Another thing about bringing someone onstage…the video their friends take can spread on youtube and social media and bring you more exposure, which is always nice. 🙂

      And it’s great that you can laugh at yourselves…what this does is bring you to ‘audience level’ and we can relate to you a bit more. Lots of bands could learn from your example.

      Thanks for weighing in!

Step Up To The Microphone & Leave a Comment