13181: That Moment When You’re Just About To Perform

Hey there, hero!

The little moments in life when we do what we do as performers…record an audition, narrate a chapter in an audiobook, self-tape an on-camera audition…they are juicy, aren’t they?

I’m wondering what goes through your head, just as you’re about to start.

To take that “blank page” and add content to it.

To change it from nothing to something.

Do you have doubts? Are you supremely confident? Something in between?

Do you even notice that moment anymore?

I wonder how that on-the-brink moment hits you these days. Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. David: Responding to your questions on this one. For recorded events that I’m involved in…audio books…podcasts…my radio show…I have no trepidation at the moment of recording. I think that’s mainly because of the editing that is available to me. These events, for me, are more of a production task…getting it on time and completed. The performance can be revisited and enhanced if necessary. My biggest problem there is self-directing. I still struggle with wondering if I’m REALLY communicating. On stage…I still get a few butterflies before I go out but, like in football, after the first hit…I’m ready to play. What little on-camera experience I have however has taught me that I really like it. For me, it’s much easier to relate to other performers and be more genuine in the small snippets done at different angles etc. Directors have said, “Yep, I like what you’re doing there”…when, in my mind, I’m only just talking to the other guy. It’s cool.

  2. When I started thinking about doing the audio book version of my stories, I really didn’t think of the performance aspects of the narration. Since my books are fiction and involve danger, romance, and general mayhem, I guess it really is like (radio) acting. And that makes me a bit nervous, but, hey, what have I got to lose?

  3. Great message! Always try to keep the adventure going and the sense of competence and confidence. Succeed more than not!

  4. I feel elated and grateful when I have the opportunity to record children’s magazines for CRIS (Connecticut Radio Information Service – Audio access for the Bind and Print Challenged.) I imagine that I am reading to a child and structure my delivery to suit the content and engage the listener, who may also be reading along with me.
    However, when I make a recording for my own audience (regarding small business skills), the gremlins sneak in and start questioning my authority and veracity.
    David, thanks to your insights; the next time those creeps step forward, I will smack the little buggers and get into the same service mindset that works for me when I record for the kids.

  5. I love that moment just before walking on stage. I don’t get to say “wait…I am not hitting the record button yet..” The orchestra is playing. you are on! There is your cue. You are on! Live theater works with this moment so well, it is a thrill that I want so much I want it during an audition because it helps drive me. When recording, I can pause, take a breath, go when ready. Live theater…not so much…but what a great moment!

  6. Hey David,

    I look forward to all of your podcasts! Today’s was an excellent question. I have to say that sometimes it’s a mixture of, “Can I give them what they want? Do I understand exactly what they’re asking for? They probably already picked someone. Or, they’ll probably pick someone else”….. BUT…. I have to say that stop that negative inner voice, shake it off, and I get very excited because I love VO work!!! I have too much going on in my head!!

    Thanks for asking and for listening!

  7. When I auditioned for the audiobook I just completed I was stoked, I wanted to be the narrator for this book. I was clear on my intention and managed to do the audition in one straight take. (I had practiced before this take a few times).
    As I was working through the chapters I did have moments of “please help me tell this woman’s story correctly”… When I was heading into self sabotage, I stopped, took a few breaths or wrote down what my head (the one that tells me I can’t do things) was saying and then started with excitement and yes, joy. I truly loved reading this book.
    On stage is somewhat different, the overture plays or your cue is said and ready or not you’re on. Breathing, I find, helps that also. To me, preparation is key. That’s why I LOVE rehearsals-the time you experiment and find your Point of View goes far in providing excitement and confidence instead of dread and depression.

  8. This might be my favorite episode! I’d say my first thought probably runs the gamut. But sometimes it’s even a mischievous giggle as I think to myself “I can’t believe I’m doing this”. And after viewing this episode, I’m going to make point to say something positive out loud before hitting ‘record’ like “This is going to be great!” or “This is going to be fun!”