I have begun week two of social distancing and have gone about trying to view this time with curiosity and looking for all things to be grateful for.  My mindset is not all sunshine and rainbows BY FAR, however, reading and spending quiet moments of reflection and reaching into my hard earned resilience continue to give me hope in the midst of all the seriousness and negativity in the world at this moment in history.

Although all live performance has been halted, I know I can use this time to continue growth as a performer in other ways.  Reading is a great place to start!

A little over a year ago.  A musician colleague and friend Shawn Eiferman ( www.shawneiferman.com )gifted me a book to help me on my journey to feeling successful on stage. Shawn’s easy and charismatic stage presence is something I have always been in awe of and I am grateful for his advice and for passing along this book to give me a fresh perspective in this area.

This book titled “Stage Performance” by Livingston Taylor is easy to understand and implement.  It is practical and has given me much to wonder about and some practices to help me continue to evolve as a performer.

Feeling comfortable and confident onstage has ALWAYS been a sore spot in my journey as a singer/songwriter.  Most of my life I struggled with a anxiety and a panic disorder that blead over to into pretty severe stage fright.  This made performance the one thing that I hated to love because it has been so hard to do until now. Thanks to some great advice, unique performing experiences and GUTS I can tell you that I feel much more comfortable and appreciative of the opportunity to play live music.   I still feel I have a ways to go to be a GREAT performer but I am thrilled to have made peace with this aspect of my career.

This book is an abridgment of what Livingston teaches at his performance class at Berkley.  It details what he views “stage performance” to be and how he views it should start, progress and end as well as information on mindset as well as practical matters of concern to performers. 

Livingston explains in the beginning that:

“A performance is a conversation that begins when you go on stage, take in all that’s happening around you, get a sense of where you are and how you feel, and then react to that reality…This book is about having belief in yourself and developing confidence in your value as a person, learning to be free of fear and open in front of all those people.”


This book is an easy read full of guidance that gave me great mental/emotional value as a performer and I highly recommend it to any musician looking to be more in tune with live performance and getting a well rounded view of our role as performers.  I hope to continue to hone my skills as a care taker of audiences as I continue with my music career.

I leave you with one more quote from this book that I will be gifting to the first performer that requests it.  As I am social distancing through the Covid-19 pandemic I believe it rings true in the current fearful/unsure state we are all drawn into.

Take care of yourselves and don’t let fear rule your existence even in the darkest of times!

“When we are fearful, we’re self-absorbed and boring.  When we’re free of fear, we’re open to take in all that is around us. A big long continual drink of the universe.”


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