By: Ken Boone
I'm hunkered down in my house while I'm collecting all the information I can in the Coronavirus outbreak. I'm a little worried because, since I'm considered to be in a fairly high-risk group, I don't want to chance a health setback. Trying not to obsess about thing I can't control, I found something that will keep my mind occupied. At least for a little while.
I have a love-hate relationship with public performances. Mostly because I'd have flashbacks of hundreds of times I really stunk up the joint. There were quite a few great moments on stage, but the duds far outpaced the successes.
I could come up with a hundred lame excuses as to why my performances were, at best, uneven. But the main reason was that I would hit the stage totally unprepared! That's right, I rarely, if ever practiced.
When I was a band leader, I was known to hold two hour rehearsals. The band, instrumental and/or vocal, would usually perform quite well. The problem was that I was the anchor that dragged things down.
Celia, one the other hand, was a person who would practice for hours on ends. Running scales, practicing performance pieces, and learning a 600-song hymnal, Celia was prepared for anything. And boy did it show!
As different as we are in our approach to readiness, we click on stage. I knew that from the first time we played "The First Noel" at a Christmas Eve service a few years back. I'd only been playing the bass for about eight weeks, but somehow I was ready. Maybe it was because I was on the bass, and not faking it on the piano. I'm just saying...
As I alluded to in the past few blog posts and podcasts, we are in comeback mode. We can no longer lean on illness as a crutch for not doing what we believe we were called to do. We have to get ourselves back down to figurative fighting weight. We have to dust off the old songbooks.
Playing the songs is the easy part. As long as I can sit on a stool with my bass and Celia is at the piano, things will turn out alright. But now that I have a story to tell about the miracle God performed on me, I have to practice telling that story to friends and strangers alike. And as the title of this post suggests, I HATE TO PRACTICE!
It's not because I'm bashful. It's not because I get stage fright. It's not because I lack experience. To tell the truth, I don't know what it is. I have a feeling that it's my disdain for appearing scripted. I always told myself that a scripted person is a phony person.
I've recorded 28 episodes of my podcast. I've also provided voice-over for dozens of other podcast shows. I started using a script on my episodes. I've always used a script on the other shows. And yes, I feel like a phony every time I record and listen to the playback.
While I don't have a large audience, I usually hear that my listeners like the sound of my voice. They say it's soothing. I say they need to get their ears checked. But I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
With all of that said, I've been picking up my bass recently. I don't run scales or arpeggios. I simply slap on a pair of headphones and play along with whatever song is in the CD player. I also imagine that I'm playing to a full house at our favorite church.
I guess I'm practicing magical thinking. That's not a bad thing. Now all I practice telling my story of healing to a crowd of people. I could either look in my bathroom mirror, or tape a picture of an audience to my computer screen. That way I can imagine I'm working the crowd when I'm actually recording another podcast. Hope that will work!
But wait... there's more!
About the Author
As owner of the Descant Music & Media Group, Ken is a creator and producer of several podcast shows. He is also a music producer, as well as a writer and an accountant for small businesses and nonprofits.