Hiding in plain sight as a performer

How much energy do you use trying to mask the bits of you you don't like? How much of your attention does this take up? If you are constantly trying to manage how people judge you it can be exhausting, and actually lead to you coming across and more awkward because you are overthinking.

Being yourself takes less energy and allows you to focus on what you are performing, and your audience, with more of your brain. This means you will undoubtedly give a better performance, not only because you are able to give your performance and audience more attention, but because you are less tense too. Take a listen or watch to understand more....

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Episode 50 - Hiding in plain sight as a performer

The Courageous Performer Podcast

Hiding in plain sight as a Performer

If you would like to learn how to let go and perform brilliantly, so that you can feel confident (even without being able to guarantee the outcome!) then why not join me for my FREE YOUR VOICE workshop this April?

£20 will barely buy you dinner and a drink these days, instead spend it transforming how you feel when you perform!

Read the episode transcript here:

[00:00:00] Are you hiding in plain sight as a performer? Hi, I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice and last time I spoke about being yourself in as a performer and how important it was and and the reason that some people view performing as I did as a place to be someone else and that can work in many ways and it occurred to me that , the reason that being yourself as a performer is so important in terms of the work that I do is to catch the people who are hiding in plain sight.

To catch the people who put themselves out there again and again and again, And every time they do they think, why the heck am I doing this to myself? I remember years ago a singer saying she would get to the wings and go, why do I do this to myself?

Putting yourself out there to be judged and feeling that there were parts of you that wanted to hide. And [00:01:00] that's what I mean by hiding in plain sight. You want to put yourself out there but equally you want to hide. Now that probably describes me more than anybody else and It's really interesting to look at the dynamic that goes on in your head about this idea because Other people don't view us the way we view ourselves.

That I am absolutely certain of. I'm always blown away when I see videos of myself because it doesn't look like me, or hear recordings of myself because it doesn't sound like me. And my singing teacher is forever saying, don't listen to yourself. That's my job. You don't hear yourself like we hear you.

And that's so true. And it's so true in terms of what we think people perceive from us. And what they get and what they don't get from our performances., and it relates to this whole business of when you sing a duff note or you muddle your words. You may well think that that's [00:02:00] what the audience notices. But if they are connected, if they are really listening to your message and swept away with what you're doing, They probably won't even notice those or they'll think it was deliberate.

And so often that's the case. If you do something with absolute confidence and it's wrong, but you do it as if it was right, the audience never know the difference. There might be people there with their score or with their script. There sometimes are. But. Actually, the vast majority of the audience are just going with you.

, especially if you are authentic and believable. And this will, this, this will, And this is where it all comes back to this authenticity, because if you are not trying to hide part of yourself, if you are comfortable with being yourself in front of an audience, then you will come across as a lot more authentic.

And this can be taken to the extreme because if you're trying to be perfect and you achieve it, [00:03:00] actually it's a negative because you don't come across as authentic if you come across as perfect. We don't trust perfect, either we feel below it or we think there's something a bit shifty about it.

 We don't believe it, is it too good to be true? And when you can let go of the mask, whatever the mask is that you are holding up. When you can really lean into being yourself and when you can stop hiding, even when you put yourself out there, then your performance will be a lot more relaxed. It will be a lot calmer and it will be more comfortable for the audience to enjoy.

And when the audience are feeling more comfortable and connected with you, they are more likely. to go along with the flow of what you're doing, forgive you your mistakes , and see it as a whole and enjoy it. They are predisposed to [00:04:00] enjoying what you do and that makes your job easier. It'll also make you feel more comfortable.

So enjoy it. Ask yourself this question. When you get up on stage in front of an audience, whether it's for public speaking, singing, acting, dancing, whatever it is, is there a part of you that you don't want the audience to see? Are you hiding a part of yourself? And if you believe that part existed in someone else, would you need them to hide it or want them to hide it from you?

Because We hold ourselves to a different standard, to the standard we hold other people. We want to have everything perfect to feel safe, but we don't expect perfection from other people. Yes, we might expect high skill, but high skill is different from perfection. So, if you are hiding a part of yourself, ask yourself the question, how much of your headspace that is taking, and does [00:05:00] it actually fit with your desire to get out there and communicate?

Because one of the things that people think about performers, those who aren't performers, think about performers, is that we are naturally confident, that we're naturally wanting to put ourselves out there and happy to do so. And they don't realize that we put ourselves out there because this is our medium.

This is how we want to express ourselves. I was talking to someone the other day about the fact that they felt they were a singer. That they had singer, if you cut them in half, they would have singer through them like Blackpool or Brighton Rock. , and this is, it's the same for dancers and, and actors.

This idea that this is how you express yourself, that you're putting yourself out there, because you have a desire to express yourself this way. And how that fits with this part of you that wants to hide, this element that wants to stay secreted. And how much more would you give to your audience if you brought your [00:06:00] whole self to the performance?

If you let go of the desire to hide and allowed yourself to be imperfect and out there. I did a video recently where my hair had gone really fluffy after, after I'd washed it in candy floss hair, I called it, and can you go out there with a part that you think, Oh, I wish it were different, but actually know that by embracing those parts, you actually make yourself, more acceptable to your audience.

I think Emma Stone at the, At the Oscars, her dress broke and as she walked up, she turned round and showed the audience the dress that had broken. So she let go of this idea of perfection and showed that something had gone awry. And instantly, the audience felt more kindly towards her. They felt she was human, she was relatable.

And if there's anything I've learned about performing, it's that the more [00:07:00] relatable we are to our audience, the more they will listen and hear and feel comfortable and take on board what we are communicating, whether it's a speech, a song, a dance, they are going to be more open if they feel that it is relatable.

So, What would I like you to take from this episode? I'd love for you to take from this episode the question, are you hiding a part of yourself? Is that, the questions I should say, is that part of yourself, part of your humanity? And how much more comfortable would your audience feel if you shared your humanity with them?

I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice. Thank you so much for listening.