These are still Weird times.
I was enjoying a soothing white americano (with a sleeping baby!) in one of Hastings music venues. The woman who served me said they’re not going to put on any performances till at least September. They are still feeling very jittery about live events. Yet the Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra had another concert yesterday.
There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason.
How are you going to have a professional career if you are relying on luck?
Yet this has been a problem for many musicians, even before the pandemic.
The status quo for most freelance musicians is to wait for someone else to book them.
There are two problems with this:
- You can only perform as much as people are willing to book you.
- If they stop booking you, you’ve lost your opportunity to perform.
It’s such a precarious position to be in. And yet this is what the profession expects. It’s “always” been this way.
Well, I think it’s time to find a different way. One which helps you create your own performance opportunities. So you can perform what you like, when you like, to who you’d like to.
Performing digital recitals give you the possibility to create your own performance opportunities. You no longer need to chase the promoter, venue or organisation. You book you.
You gain artistic decision making. Instead of your program being dictated and vetted by the organiser, you get to choose. You can experiment. Explore. Champion new repertoire.
You don’t need to fork out big venue fees and travel expenses. You can perform in your own home if you want to. Or any space that has a good internet connection. Local recording studios are offering fantastic services now for live streaming. It is well worth looking around and seeing what there is on offer.
This is not a new concept. Many artists have created festivals and events to create working opportunities. What is new is choosing a digital format. Musicians such as Ensemble Reza, Jesse Grimes, Max Baillie, London Concertante are all taking advantage of this opportunity and you can as well.
To do it well, you need the following.
Digital recital mindset
Commitment. That’s the first step. Commit to yourself that you want to create more performance opportunities. Fulfil your purpose. Turn your aspirations into reality. It’s no longer ok for someone else to dictate when you can do this.
Courage. Taking action, making decisions, building your audience all takes courage. Choosing when you would like to perform and what you would like to perform. Yes, some of your colleagues think that live streaming is only a sticking plaster. You now know that it is the opportunity to BE a professional musician on your terms.
Learning. Be willing to learn from your mistakes. When we give something new a go, we all make mistakes. That’s ok. One of my first mistakes was not sorting out the reverse mirroring on my phone during my first live stream. It looked like I was playing the wrong way around. There were some quite grumpy comments in the feed. After that, I YouTubed how to fix it. It’s sorted now for every live stream. You have permission to make mistakes.
0 to 1 Recital in 10 minutes
It’s time to take action. Create your first performance opportunity. You can do it in 5 simple steps. Are you ready? Steady…GO!
1. Decide what platform you are going to perform on.
- Zoom & YouTube are good choices.
- My personal favourite is OnJam.tv.
- Once you’ve decided, create an account.
2. What format are you going to use?
- Live Streaming = (live) Audiences value unique live digital experiences.
- Streaming = (pre-recorded) It gives you more quality control.
- Hybrid = (mixture of live & pre-recorded) A mixture of both.
3. When are you going to perform?
- If you haven’t already got an audience, give yourself 2-3months.
- If you do have a following, book a date in 1-2 months.
- Put a date in the diary
4. Decide what you’re going to play.
5. Tell people about it. Find out more here.
You no longer have to rely on luck to secure professional work. You can create your own opportunities. Digital Recitals are one way to go about this. Why? Because no matter what happens, there is always a way to perform online.
If you take up this opportunity, make sure you commit to it . Have the courage to make decisions and take action. Be willing to learn at every point. Follow the 5 steps and you can already have your first digital recital lined up.
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