Before I/we hire you, can we meet?
Yes. We can do this over the phone or in person. It’s important for both/all of us to first see how we might get along and I need to get a better idea of your expectations. If, based on our conversation, I don’t think you’re ready for a coach I’ll be honest and tell you so. For no charge I’ll try to give you some idea of what you should be doing to get to a point where a coach would be helpful.
How often do we have to meet?
That depends on a lot of different factors. It depends on where you’re starting and where you want to go. It depends on how fast you pick up new ideas, and how often you get chances to try things out with live audiences. It depends on how many people are involved: a solo artist or a five-piece band. Please take a look at the Coaching Fees section for more variables.
Why are you giving so much information away on this site for free?
What I’m sharing here isn’t patented. I didn’t invent the terminology or central concepts. People who’ve been performing for a long time know this stuff. If you look you’ll find bits and pieces of information about performing all over the web. I’m trying to bring a lot of it together in one place, and give it my own particular spin based on my life experience.
As for money, musicians can read about performing until the cows come home, but it isn’t the same as having a living, breathing coach on your side. My function as a performance coach (for which I do charge a fee) is to help the performer see what information is actually relevant to him or her. It’s not much different than a theatre director who suggests alternative ways of doing things in order to prevent an actor from looking foolish by overacting, or help to identify the moments when more emotional risks should be taken on stage. Reading about performance elements can open your mind to new possibilities, but actually applying the principles usually requires an outside eye. A teacher or mentor. Or lots and lots of trial and error. Information is free. My time? Not so much.
I’m a rap artist. You’re a children’s entertainer. Why would I hire you to coach me?
Truth be told, I started out singing for adults and did it for a long time, but I really honed my performing skills in front of kids.
Try this as an experiment: Book yourself into a large elementary school. There must be at least 300 children sitting on the gym floor. You are allowed one mic on a stand and one musical instrument of your choice. For one hour you must hold the attention of every child in the room. One hour. If they get excited and talk to one another, you must be able to get them onside again within five seconds. If two kids start pounding on one another during a song, you will have to discipline them using only your eyes and body language without stopping the show. You must make all 300 kids laugh. Not once. Not twice. But many, many times. And, you must make them sing along with you in such a way that they enjoy doing it.
If you’re already a fantastic performing rap artist, it should be no problem. Kids love rap. But if you think you might fail this test, then yes, I have some things I could teach you.
Performing is performing is performing. The musical genre may be different, but the objective is the same: to make the audience love you by getting their attention and holding it for the whole show. To some degree your success depends on being in front of people who appreciate your genre, but what’s much more important is your musical excellence and your understanding of what you’re doing on stage.