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Timing is Everything (When it Comes to Moments)

Tom and Amy working with a bandIt was a torturously slow rehearsal.

Imagine your movie downloading on Netflix, seeing the little spinning wheel, waiting for the streaming speed to work its way up from 0.2 — that’s the way this rehearsal felt!

I was working alongside Tom with a major artist, and the pace of the day was so much slower than I like to work. When it takes hours to get everyone set and going, the creative energy wanes and it’s tough to get a lot done.

Because Tom had already been working with them in previous rehearsals, I let him take the lead on the session and let him call the shots —— until this:

There was a point in a power ballad we were working on, where the two singers climbed stairs to the back of the set, coming from opposite sides, to a lift. Once they were on it, the lift rose in the air 15–20 feet. A cool effect, but it wasn’t getting a rise out of us. (Pun intended.)

The timing was off.

I knew instinctively when the lift should start, in the same way we use ‘first word, first step’ theory. It’s a sync thing that just feels right. In this case, I knew the lift should start rising when the musical build in the bridge began. That way, you saw the rise just as you were hearing it.

They kept trying all the wrong things and I kept trying to get a word in. I told Tom (who already sensed the same thing) and their manager, “Just wait a bit longer and start the lift at the beginning of the buildup.” I could tell he was skeptical, but decided to humor me and give it a shot.

The singers made their way up the set on the second chorus and got back to the lift as they went into the bridge. Then as the build started, BOOM, the lift started to rise, and everyone went nuts! It was totally right and we all felt it. I got a huge ‘YES!’ and high fives from the manager. I wanted to leave right then – like when Seinfeld’s George Costanza learned to leave on a high note!

The thing is, it wasn’t rocket science. It’s just being aware, and doing the right thing at the right time.

Think about your show. Are things making sense visually with what people hear? Is the energy onstage matching the energy of each song? You probably don’t have big sets, lifts, or all the bells and whistles like a platinum & gold multiple award-winning artist does. But you can show a build by knowing when to move, or when to get up off a stool to ‘lift’ the song visually!

If you can make it to our Tom Jackson Bootcamp in September, we’ll be showing you how to create moments like this that will move your audience.

You may not think it’s that important, but when you pay attention to these details, you’ll get a rise out of the audience. They will feel it. The hair on their arms will raise, and they’ll feel the yes in their spirit, and they’ll remember… That. Moment.

Timing, my friends.

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.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. This is SO. TRUE.

    Thank you for sharing Amy.

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