Showcase is getting closer and it’s time to start cleaning up those routines. By now you should have the basic outline of your routine (and if not, revisit our last post to get started) so now is the time to train it up so you’re comfortable, and start focusing on the artistry of your act. A few things to consider:
Training: At this stage of preparation, you want to be training your routine so it looks effortless and so you can concentrate on performing, not just struggling through it. I like to use the guideline that you want to be able to do your routine three times in a row before putting it on stage, so if you have time before showcase then spend it building up your endurance. However, if you’ve left things a bit more last minute, you might need to look at simplifying your routine and taking out some of the more challenging elements so you can get to the end safely and happily.
Be aware of your body: With the adrenaline of performing you’ll likely go harder and faster than usual. Make a conscious effort to breathe, and slow down so you aren’t rushing through tricks. Side note on that: I also find it’s best to steer clear of caffeine right before performing, as you probably don’t need the extra jitters.
Perform: You have a bunch of cool tricks and everyone is watching, awesome! However, you do need to remember that there are two sides to that equation. The audience wants to be able to appreciate you, and show that they are participating, so make sure you allow enough time for people to clap. Build in a few points in your routine to acknowledge the audience, or leave space where you are still. And at the end, don’t just run off stage! Take a bow, and look at your audience, smile and acknowledge them. Wave, pull a face, do whatever you want. This is when they are appreciating you for what you’ve just shared with them, so let them before turning tail and fleeing the scene.
Tempo: A simple way to keep your routine interesting is to change the speed of tricks. Whether your overall routine is high energy or slow, you don’t need to keep the exact same pace all the way through. Try stretching out slowly into some poses and moving quickly between others to vary the tempo throughout your routine.
Get feedback: The great thing about student showcases is the opportunity for improvement, so make the most of it!
Finally, relax! This is supposed to be fun, so enjoy the process of bringing together everything you’re learning. The audience doesn’t know what’s supposed to happen, what your routine should look like or how hard anything is, so if you make a mistake, just keep on smiling and let your family & friends appreciate all your hard work.
Stay tuned for the final post of this series, and don’t forget to share the showcase event with friends and family!