Friday, February 26, 2010

Inappropriate affect

Ron the Drummer had this bit of advice for me at our last rehearsal.

"I see you making eye contact with the audience and smiling," he said, "and that's great. But you don't have to do that all the time. You can close your eyes, or whatever you feel like when you're into the music."

The advice seemed a little strange. Yes, I do try to look people in the eye when we perform, largely to make up for all the times I'm so immersed in what we're playing that I almost forget they're there. The smiling is spontaneous, though. Why would that be a problem?

After a moment or two of thought, however, I realized what Ron was picking up on.

Sometimes I smile during performances because I'm happy to be there and happy to be doing what I'm doing. Unfortunately, sometimes that happens during the dark, depressing songs. I noticed it at our last gig during a particularly gloomy tune. Here I am, singing about how everything is falling apart because I'm a loser, and I'm grinning like an idiot because I'm having such a great time.

It doesn't really sell the song.

Our next gig is Sunday afternoon. I have until then to perfect the appropriate emotional displays. I'll just stand myself in front of a mirror and practice.

"Grrr. GRRRRRR."


Fireblossom said...

Tbh, that always drives me batty when singers do that, women smiling away while singing about their shattered hearts, or guys scowling while the song is about how great everything is.

Women do this on tv interview shows too, or in everyday conversation. She'll say, "I was attacked by my Uncle, the knife wielding madman, when i was 6," and be smiling away. Huh???

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe if you want to give the impression of, "My life is completely falling apart and here I am grinning like an idiot because I am COMPLETELY INSANE! MUAHAHAHA!" then you should keep it up. You might pick up a few Goth or Emo followers that way. ;)

(Yes, I'm joking. ;) )

Unknown said...

But I get annoyed when singers have their eyes closed all the time! It's like they're not connecting with the audience- they're in their own little world and I'm shouting at them (in my end) "LOOK AT ME!!".

You can't win can you ;)

cinderkeys said...

Fireblossom: "I was attacked by my uncle, the knife-wielding madman, when i was 6" sounds like the beginning of a poem. You could totally pull it off.

GreyLupine: Of course you're joking. Emos aren't allowed to smile for any reason.

Forgetful Girl: Could be that they're in their own world. Or, could be that they're scared of the audience and want to pretend they're not there. I always got the latter impression as a member of the audience; no idea if I was right.

Jannie Funster said...

I'm sure what you're doing on stage it Exactly Right at all times!