Get plenty of rest and drink lots of water
Standing on stage and serenading a large group of people can sound a little bit like a bad dream for the shy or for the unrested. When it comes to remembering all my lyrics, hitting my notes, and being witty with banter between songs, I find the more well-rested I am, the better I am on my feet. For me, I know it’s a full 8 hours that I’ll need of sleep to be performing, literally, at my best. Letting all those inspired improvised moments flow through me requires the strength of mental clarity and hydration.
The Burden Basket
On the note of mental clarity, I find that before I take the stage, it’s important I set my thoughts and daily dealings aside. This brings in the idea of checking one’s baggage at the door. For this practice, I utilize the symbol of the Burden Basket. The Burden Basket is from Native American tradition, where one is expected to carry materials for the tribe, but not more than their basket can handle. These baskets can also be placed by the door of one’s home, inviting themselves and visitors to place any worries they may have at the door. Sometimes, after a performance, I don’t even pick my problems back up. That’s how I know I hit a real home-run.
Believing in your message
Sharing songs that I have written with the public can sometimes feel like I am showcasing my open diary for all to read. Since many of my poems and lyrics are written from a place of emotional connection, I find the finished product to be rather vulnerable and admitting of self. I have found through releasing original music that I need to have faith in myself and my mission. To see the bigger picture of it all is a gift, especially when my ego tries to hyper-analyze every note I play, every pitch I sing, or every thought I think. If I let my mind run rampant, it causes cracks in my aura, where negative thoughts start to peek through… like misunderstood weeds, bursting out for sunlight. This can all be eased with confidence in one’s self. Early on in my career, I wrote a mission statement to outline my calling. Mission statements can act as a guiding light for ourselves, whatever our path in life may be.
Dress for the picture you plan to take
Whenever I am looking back on one of my shows, I will think to myself… “Oh, yeah! That was the night where I really nailed the vocals on my new song.” When I dress to impress, it always makes me feel a burst of self-assurance upon re-living the energy of that memory. It can be any style of outfit too. Sometimes, I dress up with full make-up, and other times, I go low key with a tie-dye Led Zeppelin tee, bell-bottom patterned pants, and a hat. I dress to reflect how I feel or want to feel with my personality’s presentation that day. If a picture says a thousand words, why not get a photo, video, and a selfie that each say more than a million words at once.
Originally written for Mantra Magazine. Kendra Muecke, 2020 ©