My Performance Manifesto

Last week I wrote about my music teaching manifesto. This week I’ve created my performance manifesto. This list feels like a work in progress, but it’s a peek into how I approach my gigs which is as much about being prepared to deal with people and unexpected situations as it is about playing music. Feel free to share any of your gigging guidelines in the comments.

1. Dress appropriately for the venue and style of music I’m presenting.

2. Have any written details (contracts, directions, emails, etc.) of the gig in hand.

3. Find my contact person and be friendly with the staff at the venue.

4. Soundcheck and tune at the beginning of the gig and constantly reevaluate.

5. Be the version of myself that I want the audience to experience. Leave any negative vibes at home.

6. Have as much material memorized as possible.

7. Present a variety of accessible music but challenge the audience with some more unusual pieces.

8. Engage with the audience (verbally and non-verbally as appropriate) from the stage.

9. Be open to unexpected requests but know when to say no.

10. Remain grateful for the opportunity to present my music to live audiences.

Photoby Marc Mennigmann HANDS Project

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