Two days ago, I wrote about audiences labeling our stuff. We can do the same thing ourselves. We can label what we do… then ignore it… then phone it in.
This is so clear to me now that I hang with my toddler. He’s fascinated with a thing over and over again. It seems that he’s seeing something new in it every time and learning something and enjoying it.
If we think we’re doing our same show over and over again, we’re wrong. It’s new every time. It’s the first time it’s happened in that moment. The familiarity is good for getting us to a more natural state without paralyzing adrenaline, but eventually it can lead to apathy if we don’t watch out.
Here are some things I do to keep it fresh.
- Look around the environment and pick out something special about place
- Try to experience the event the way the audience does. Walk through the same doors. Watch them and empathize
- Pick out one audience member to entertain. Think about them never seeing this before
- Think about if my act means something different at this time in the world
- Put some broken glass in my shoe so I slowly lose most of the blood in my body
- Try to impress the soundman
- Get full of oxygen – almost hyperventilate – before the show to get myself into a higher energy state
- Remember that this is a special moment I get to do what I do
- Think “what if I was doing this joke for the first time?”