There’s an old saying from the days of Vaudeville Theatre that says a performer should never follow an act that features kids or animals. Why? You’ll never overcome the cuteness factor.
I’ve had my fair share of challenges on the stage, having to follow a burlesque act, break dancers, and once, Savion Glover. There’s a particular skill set that is learned from those situations.
First we learn what intimidation feels like. The idea that whatever you do will never amount to what just happened. That feeling that you (not just your performance) will never be enough.
Then we learn how to hold our own space. We begin to measure our own value, not relative to any particular achievement but to the standard laid on our own heart born of Love. We don’t shoot for what just happened, we shoot for what we’re supposed to bring.
With that in mind we develop techniques of listening to where the audience is, meeting them where they are, guiding them to where we want to be, and then sharing what we have to share.
It happens everywhere, when someone captures the imagination of the audience, there is no going back. But what if what we bring just adds to that moment, in a different way, with a different perspective, with a different voice?
I say bring on the kids, the animals, the famous people, and the amazing ones. I’ll be rooting for you, as I wait my turn in the wings.