Frogs sing because they have a passionate reason to do so. They join voices in a chorus of croaks, chirps, peeps, trills to attract mates; to mark their territory; to signal a change in weather; or because they are afraid or hurt.
Frogs have a deep need to sing. Their songs are purposeful, thus natural and without judgment or analysis.
I was thinking about this idea of singing and playing music from such a natural and engaged place during a recent interview with the Boston Flute Association. I was asked to name my best musical assets. I said, “My rhythm is rock solid. And I can be fearless and engaging onstage.”
Indeed, on blessed occasions, I do tap into my carefree inner 8-year old onstage, tempered with a connectedness with what’s going on around me. I feel present. I feel people around me reaching out, and I naturally connect back to them.
But these moments are rare in performance, and even rarer in rehearsals: when I am rehearsing material, I am my most analytical, striving to hear the big picture in a song in order to figure out a shape for an arrangement.
When I did a quick Google search for “Fearless Performing,” I found a short video from Tishambia Caine who teaches “Cardio Cabaret” and… “Pole Fitness” (pole dancing moves!) at Studio Soiree in Utah.
She said, “Do not let anybody else dictate what you can and cannot do,” and more importantly, she stressed “don't let yourself dictate to yourself what you can’t do or think you can’t do… Do Not Fear. Take the fear out. Just go for it. Enjoy the performance. Have fun.”
So, this week it's all about Pole Dancing and Frog Songs… I am tucking into the Attitude and the Purpose part of performing. As Caine says, what you bring outside from the inside transforms your performance into something fabulous.