One thing I have learned while learning to understand my emotions is that there are different categories and types of emotions. Some seem perpetual, while others are powerful and yet momentary emotions. Knowing which type of emotion you are experiencing can be the key to satisfying the need to express your feelings. Do you feel this strong sensation that seems to be overpowering every other emotion or rational thought, if so, let us call that a spike. On the other hand, if you aren’t doing anything very stimulating to the body or mind and kind of just are observing your own vibe that you have been feeling for a while, let’s call that a concrete feeling. Take enough to time to realize if the feeling is a spike or a concrete feeling. Once you have recognized the type, at least in my experience, you should be able to focus on that feeling and even topic while expressing yourself through writing.
Specifically while writing about the concrete feeling, things might come out seeming a little deeper and true to your past. Your history and identity overall will be emphasized because most likely you have experience at least a similar emotion on multiple occasions throughout your life. Even more so, others might have experienced this same feeling a multitude of times. Make a concrete connection with your audience.
Most likely, you and your audience have also experienced what I am referring to as a spike. This this type of emotion can seem very powerful. As your expressing yourself, the written piece can start off strong, then fall flat the next day. Be weary of this dilemma. Try to write down some of the key characteristics of how you were feeling during the spike. That way, you have some notes to help you reconnect to feelings in that moment, if you wish to continue what you were writing.
Write your emotions into your pieces. Take some time to realize what you are/were feeling. Feelings can be complex. Fun fact, you do experience multiple emotions at once, hence the term mixed feelings. So, when really trying to express yourself as well as get understood by your audience, give your emotions the respect they deserve. In doing so, it will seem that you are more in touch with your emotions and your audience can relate to your pieces heavily.
Right place, right time, feels great. Recently, I went to my friend’s house for his birthday party and the result was a full blown freestyle cipher with him and another artist that had shown up to celebrate him. A week before that I had stumbled across a basketball tournament with a cash prize of $1500 dollars to the winning team. A while before that, I rapped at prom and was then approached by the DJ about an opportunity to perform for his youth group. All these situations were examples of being at the right place at the right time. Honestly, looking back at these opportunities that I at least attempted to take advantage of, gives me a sense of accomplishment, confidence. The fact that I, and in your case, you, have put yourself in these situations can be hard to comprehend and accept. Coming to terms with the fact that going to the right place even when you are being averted by your urges, can lead to special opportunities; will ideally propel you into more positive opportunities. If you plan to go somewhere for a positive reason, expecting a positive outcome, don´t let unexpected or expected negatives stop you.
P.S. Don´t take this to the extreme; keep it in mind when you are executing your plans for something important or even some daily things that just seem like they are out the way that day. A reflection is a powerful tool. Use it.
Firstly this is not how I recommend all your performances should be planned. Still, I have done it a few times, so here are a few tips to get more out of the performance and hopefully not be so nervous.
1. Work with what you have.
Pushing yourself to the absolute limit to squeeze in all the preparation you should have done long beforehand can be exhausting and detrimental. Depending on how far along with the song and memorizing it you could be in for a string of long grinding nights to cram. Realize where you are and go forward to meet the deadline, prepare what you NEED for the performance. Without a doubt, there will be some things that you have to adjust, to work with the schedule if you have not at least finished production of the song you plan to perform. That’s all ok though. Focus on the people you will be performing too and the event itself. This can provide the mood of your performance and how you will decide to win the crowd’s appreciation.
2. Keep the Event Planner/Host Updated
While you are working up a sweat on those lyrics and music make sure the person that is allowing you on their event’s stage knows that you are as serious about this as they are. Tell them where you are, don’t get offended when they get concerned about your progress. Show them, answer their questions. Reassure them by showing them your optimism and confidence that you will get the job done. They obviously want you on their stage, act like you appreciate it and are excited to be ready in time.
3. Memorize and Practice
I don’t think it would have been acceptable to read off the paper for any of the events I have performed at… Outside of this just kind of seeming unprepared, it can also dull your showcase. What if you miss read a word, or don’t read every sentence, or worse; read it off beat because you are just trying to keep up. Honestly, that is really bad. Unless it is a part of your performance theme then it shouldn’t seem like you are reading off a script. Feel free and enjoy your performance and get the crowd involved. When you are focused on the performance then you can miss a line or forget to start on time and just bounce back without needing to find your place on a piece of paper. You can even add a small freestyle. Be spontaneous, and practiced.