Monday, November 23, 2009

Detached observing

Just before I skipped town to hang with my family, I got my hands on some Cinder Bridge footage. Chet Gardiner of the Earthlingz set up a video camera and shot all the performers at the Single Payer Band Jam. He was nice enough to make us a DVD of our 50-minute segment.

Having seen the video, I wish we could get someone to record us every time we play out. Watching Ron and me as if I were a member of the audience is highly educational.

For instance, I've always disliked my head voice. (If you're unfamiliar with the jargon, head voice is the falsetto you sing when the notes are too high for your regular range.) Listening to myself here, I realized that it ... wasn't that bad. I've learned to better sing around my weaknesses.

There were moments in our playing where I thought, hmm, I could've done that better. I'll work on tightening that up. (Just me. Ron was awesome, as always.) Those were subtle, though -- not anything the audience would notice.

So I sing better than I thought. Unfortunately, I talk worse.

Don't get me wrong. My little speeches about ME/CFS and other invisible illnesses didn't go horribly. I said what I wanted to say. Just not as articulately or smoothly or entertainingly as I would have liked.

Entertainingly is important. If you're going to use the stage as a bully pulpit, you'd better develop a stage presence and keep people interested. A normal audience -- one that hadn't come to raise money for healthcare issues -- would have lost patience with me.

So I need to practice the speechifying. I also need some role models. If anybody knows of performers who are good at advocating for a particular cause, let me know. Maybe I can educate myself via YouTube.


DeppityBob said...

I don't know if you can practice being conversational on stage without becoming phony. Think of Beau Bridges in "The Fabulous Baker Boys."

Unknown said...

Natalie Maines? :)

cinderkeys said...

Dep: I remember just enough of that movie (which I saw with you, I b'lieve) to know what you're talking about. Sadly, Beau Bridges' practiced cheese comes off better than my stammering.

Helene: I'll try to find some vid of her. :)