November 17, 2017

Open Stage

 “Open Stage” is a part of the Festival that is both fun and instructional. It’s an opportunity for you to experience performing to an audience—an audience of Festival attendees that is SUPER supportive.

Performances can be solos or group efforts. Tunes can be old favorites or something different; the best ones are the ones you like best. Sometimes simple arrangements are the most powerful and sometimes you want to show off a fancier arrangement—your choice.

Or if you don’t want to play an instrument or do something musical, how about reading a favorite poem or doing a soliloquy from your favorite play.

For best results, start planning your Open Stage performance now! Here are a few tips:

  • Choose someone else to perform with if that would make you more comfortable.
  • Start simply (to give those performance jitters a few seconds to calm).
  • Practice starting a little slow. It’s easy to pick up the pace but harder to slow it down once you get going.
  • If you’re playing a tune 2 or 3 times, vary it a little each time.  People will hear the difference and be interested in it, even if they don’t know exactly what was different.
  • Practice. Practice some more. Practice with feeling. Practice having fun.
  • If you’re playing your own arrangement, record yourself and listen to be sure it sounds the same way it does in your head.
  • Practice the simplest form of the melody so that if you forget where you are (in spite of all that practicing) you can keep going.
  • Practice keeping going even when you forget things or make mistakes.
  • Practice the last few measures so you’ll be sure to nail that last note.
  • Practice finishing, smiling, and recognizing the audience’s appreciation of your work.

Take advantage of the Open Stage at this year’s festival. Have fun and learn a whole different angle to your music and creative process.

For more information or to sign up for Open Stage, ask Festival staff at the Registration Desk during the Festival.