Ever do a show and then walked off and wondered “What was wrong tonight?”. The audience seemed dead or disinterested. Is it my fault? The audience’s fault? Nobody’s fault? What am I to do?
It has happened to everyone at one time or another. Many times there are factors at work behind the scenes we are not aware of that causes you to have “flop sweat” ( a feeling that you’re not doing well or going over.. that you’re “flopping” or dying on stage). As entertainers we must condition ourselves to be confident even when things seem to be going wrong. If you’ve done your tried –and- true act several times and it always gets a laugh, then one night nothing goes well…it could be outside factors.
Here are a few situations that cause you to doubt yourself. You’re appearing at a golf club and all the members have been out in the hot sun all day playing and then they have a banquet that evening, coming straight in off the course. This year was a different for them, the company didn’t allow them to bring heir spouses or significant others to the banquet. The audience is in no mood to be entertained, no matter how good you are! Other factors can play into a banquet, like the big bosses are at one big table and the factory workers are at all the others. The factory guys can’t get comfortable since their bosses are in the same room watching how they react.
Sometimes a tragedy has struck just a day or two before your show. I had a situation wherein a young, popular student died in a car wreck days before my show at an elementary school, and they had the wake at the school the day before I was to appear! This usually happy crowd was upset and still reeling from the effects of losing a close classmate. It’s nobody’s fault..things just worked against you for a good show.
The point to remember is this: sometimes there are variables behind the scenes that are happening without your knowledge that can change dramatically the course of your performance. What do you do..? You smile, don’t speed through your act and act s though they, the audience, is having a wonderful time. Walk out with your head held high, and thank everyone for being a great audience. That is what a pro does!
To contact Mark: firstname.lastname@example.org