Monday, January 26, 2015

Dead spots, bright spots

"You notice the dead spots, but you remember the bright spots."

I said that the other night and thought it would make for a great post.

When you watch a performance, it's really easy to spot who's not giving as much as the rest.  Maybe they're nervous, maybe it's hard for them to project ki, maybe they're not feeling good...whatever the reason, it creates a "dead spot" of energy.  As an audience member, that difference in energy often catches our eye, and then we start wondering what's causing that lack of energy.  It's like passing by an accident, we can't help but watch.  Not that it's ever THAT bad, but we do tend to do it.

However, when you leave a show, you tend not to think of those people; you tend to think of the ones that really stood out in a good way.  That awesome soloist, that happy guy in the back, the woman that beamed energy, etc.  Those are the people you get inspired by and the ones you look forward to seeing again.

When we're new to taiko and put in a performance, it's easy to be the "dead spot".  It happens!  But how do you move towards the other side of the spectrum?  You can jump up and down and flap your arms and scream if all you want is attention, but it's much much more than that.  It's about emanating joy from a genuine place, however that's expressed.  It's not about being "more joyful" than the person next to you - because that's not genuine - but about getting better at expressing that love of taiko while still respecting the spirit of this song, of that solo, etc.  It's definitely a skill!

If you want to think of this sort of projection as "shining bright", don't think about shining from the inside.  Instead, shine from the inside out, express your joy through the drums, through your style - and you might be the one that people are looking forward to see the next time!

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