Ready for a Coach?
The self-assessment process is optional, but highly recommended for emerging performers. Please refer to Coaching Fees for more information.
Self-assessment is part of a larger process that includes my seeing you perform (preferably live) and giving you feedback based on your show and the questionnaire responses.
How do I/we do a self-assessment?
It’s done with questionnaires after our first meeting. Our first meeting is an educational session in which I’ll be talking about the content of the questionnaire. I’ll also want to hear your performing stories and questions. (This meeting usually goes longer than an hour, but I only charge for one.) We may also watch videotaped segments of your live show and you’ll point out what you see that needs improvement. For solo artists there’s just one questionnaire. For bands there’s two: one to be answered independently at home, and a second one that you’ll discuss and answer as a group.
Why can’t we just answer the questionnaire at our first meeting rather than taking it home?
Because it will require a lot of thought. I suggest you take your time and spread the questions out over a few days.
Can the questionnaire be e-mailed to me/us?
Yes. Right after our first meeting.
Why do you offer self-assessment as part of your coaching?
Your answers will help me understand your level of awareness of your music and performance abilities. More importantly, it forces you to think in detail about being on stage and begin the process of learning to coach yourself. Musicians and singers who’ve gone through this have found it beneficial. For bands it has made them talk about what they want to accomplish as a performing collective, rather than as individuals on a stage. For solo artists, who generally work in isolation, it gives them a chance to voice their experiences and come to terms with the kind of commitment it’s going to take to learn to hold an audience’s attention all by themselves. I strongly believe that self-assessment enriches the whole coaching process; it creates the foundation upon which we’re going to build our relationship, and your show. That said, for some it seems too daunting, so for this reason I will coach people without benefit of the assessment, in the hopes that in time the person or group may want to take on the process.
A phrase you’ll hear me use a lot is “fulfilling your intentions.” The assessment gives me details about your intentions, because my job is to help you to fulfill them. If you tell me you intend to be an international superstar, that’s completely different from saying you intend to showcase for OSAC. (Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils) If, for artistic reasons, you intend to create a lower key, gentle experience for the audience versus an in-your-face rock show, I need to know that. If I discover that you actually don’t know what your intentions are, together we can work towards articulating them.
What if we decide not to go ahead with further coaching after the self-assessment and feedback sessions?
That’s why I’ve set it up as a separate service from general coaching. It’s possible for any number of reasons that you may use the assessment as a reality check and decide you aren’t ready to invest time and money in more coaching. Because the process looks at your level of commitment as well as self-awareness, it’s a good way to ensure you’re doing the right thing at the right time in your career.
The assessments are in themselves a huge education. People receive a lot of performing information before they’ve even begun the actual onstage coaching. Sometimes the process may be overwhelming and participants need time to absorb everything they’ve heard before they take the next step. There are only suggested timelines, no rigid ones. If an artist or group wants to mull things over for a few months and come back for onstage coaching later, that’s just fine.
Do you make everyone you coach answer the questionnaire?
No. If you’re an artist or band with lots and lots of stage experience, then chances are we’re going to be speaking the same language from the get go. That said, I still offer the self-assessment to everyone as an option, believing it’s helpful in this business to think through what we’re doing at different stages of our careers. If at any level, you don’t want to answer the questionnaire, that’s fine, but I do recommend it, for all the reasons already outlined here.
Can’t you just watch us and tell us what we need?
Yes. I have a “Feedback Only Package” in which I give you a verbal assessment of your show. The feedback alone may be all you’re looking for and it’s an education in itself. However, should you choose to invest in more coaching, I may still recommend you go through self-assessment first if I believe it will help the coaching process.