Recovering from the dreaded 'blank'

Have you ever had one of those moments where you search the deep recesses or your mind for a lyric or line, that you absolutely know and all you find is crickets? Yep, well me too!


Actually it happened to me at a recent music festival where I was lucky enough to be the feature performer in a venue session. After a great interview style introduction, I started set by immediately forgetting a lyric to one of my own songs. This got me off to a bad start and really rattled me for the rest off the show.


It happened at a time when I was learning heaps of lines and songs for other shows and thought I could get away with playing a short set without my usual rehearsal process.


Regardless of the circumstance, this big 'forget' really annoyed me and I put myself through the usual self-flagellation routine for not being perfect ('I stuffed it up', 'everyone saw it', 'they'll never invite me back' ... all that kind of negative self-talk that I pretend I'm getting better at managing), a routine that continued until I caught up with an audience member later at another festival venue (ok, ok it was the bar but in my defense it was the festival bar). He was actually pretty happy with the way that I acknowledged the moment and continued on one-way or another. He felt that anyone can make a mistake but not everyone can find a way to keep going. Thank goodness for him!


This person expressed that seeing that performers are human was quite inspirational for people like him, who were too nervous to play in front of anyone for in case they stuffed something up.


Anyway, I just wanted to mention it in case you've ever gone through something similar and needed to hear that you are actually human (well I assume most of you reading this are!) and mistakes are inherent to the human condition. Sometimes they may even increase your credibility with the crowd and help others move forwards as they seek to achieve their own goals and aspirations.


And to answer the question of how to get through it; start with choosing to. Don't be afraid to acknowledge a mistake, or improvise on the fly if you can, or stop and start again,or use it as an opportunity to engage the audience with some friendly banter to build a deeper connection with them. They're probably more forgiving than you!





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