Monday, October 3, 2016

A few seconds can last a lifetime.

I'm of the rather pale persuasion.  Since taiko has me playing outdoors a good deal, I use a lot of sunscreen.  Unfortunately, once a sweat forms, sunscreen often decides to play havoc with my eyes.

When that happens in the middle of a performance, I have to keep reminding myself that there could be someone taking a photo or video at exactly that moment.  Doesn't mean it's not extremely uncomfortable, even painful at times, but with my luck, the time I decide to wince or rub my eye is the worst possible time.

Now maybe you don't have to deal with sunscreen in your eyes, but what else might come up for you?  That itch you just have to scratch?  Shifting your stance into a more comfortable position while everyone else around you is still?  Looking around?  What about something harder, like not looking tired?  It's not easy to be "on" 100% during a performance, but it's such a bummer to see a picture in the local paper or online with your face haggard or your jaw slackened.

On the surface, this is just talking about making you look good - and helping your group look good, too.  But it's also about discipline and focus, about awareness of your habits and appearance on stage, things to work on to increase your presence and projection.

It might feel like extra pressure when you start thinking of maintaining a strong facade the entire time you're playing, but like most skills, when you start doing it more and more, you have to monitor it less and less.  Doesn't mean sunscreen's going to sting any less on the eyeballs, though...

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