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A Risk Worth Taking

In my Live Music Method, I use the analogy of building your show like building a house. And one of the things you need (a very important thing!) is a solid foundation.

For your house it may mean choosing between a basement, slab, or crawl space; and you’ll choose the one that will give the longest life to the house.

For your live show, it means choosing a solid foundation (one that will give the longest life to your career) of confidence, authority, humility, loving and understanding your audience, and the courage to take risks!

Taking risks can be a scary thing. In all the years I’ve worked with artists, I can’t recall one who didn’t have an invisible wall of fear — something that artist was afraid of or uncomfortable with trying. If I do my job right in the rehearsal room, and there is freedom to explore ideas, artist development will happen and that artist, eventually, will be confronted with their wall of fear.

You need to be willing to take risks: musically, visually, verbally, and emotionally. No, you won’t be comfortable at first, but that’s all part of taking a risk. I’ve seen too many artists come up against their wall of fear and stop. As a result, their growth as artists and as people is stunted.

I have my own walls. I struggle with trying new things at times. Often I recognize it, not because I’m the sharpest tool in the shed (as they say in the South), but because I’ve been fortunate enough to see it and recognize it in countless rehearsal rooms over the years.

You and me, we need the courage to take chances.

There are a million reasons to not try something: I might make a mistake. It doesn’t feel right. My audience won’t like it. I’ve never done that before. That would be goofy. I might get embarrassed. What will people say?

The truth is, every reason that holds you back is based in fear. But there are a million reasons to try it: A moment can be created. You can bring life and passion back to a song you’ve played a hundred times. It’ll be a lot more fun onstage. You’ll sell more merchandise. You might develop a skill you never knew you had.

If you always play it safe, you may not make many mistakes, but you won’t get the most out of your show, and you won’t get the response from your audience that you could.


Build Confidence, Learn to Take Risks: Come to a Bootcamp! Read more about scheduled dates here…


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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Greenroom Comments

  1. Jason Parsons says:

    Great article Tom.


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