As performers, there is a degree of exhibitionism to what we do. Maybe a few degrees (I once saw Hughie sit down in an audience member’s lap mid-song, the saucy bugger). You get up on stage and you try to win people over, and if you’re good at what you do, like Hughie is, you don’t have to try too hard.
Nevertheless, your job is to take people away from all their other concerns, to make them be present, forgetting about their grocery shopping and their dentist appointments. Live music can drown out the incessant hum of responsibilities, errands and odd jobs that crowd a person’s mind.
Once the performance is over, however, we retreat into ourselves a little. we have our own responsibilities, our own worries and annoyances. It can be hard to recall that exuberant performer-personality off stage (speaking for myself here… not sure if Hughie sits in stranger’s laps in his own time).
Self-promotion is the bane of my performing existence, and with the internet handy, the opportunity to “perform” is ever present. We’ve all seen it “Please listen to my music” “Please share this video” “Check out our sexy new album shoot” “Like and subscribe” “Like and subscribe or I might throw myself in the river and drown” etc etc. It all sounds kinda desperate right? But people do it because it is what must be done to compete with the bazillion other things on the internet taking up people’s attention.
I know Hughie hates it too (in fact it is probably why I am the one writing this blog) and its probably a symptom of our Australian philosophical upbringing “just do your thing and be quiet about it.”
But that is no way to get ahead in the entertainment industry.
I have known tendency to drop off social media for months at a time. Its not a statement or a detox or anything like that, I just get tired of convincing myself that anybody cares “what I’ve been up to”. Promoting music over the internet can feel like a shout into the void, but it is a part of the job of being an independent artist.
The trick is, I think, to just keep doing things worth sharing. It is only for lack of good content that artists’ social media pages descend into a spiralling vortex of bathroom selfies, “stay tuned”s and “tbt” posts. So as long as we are still running around the countryside with our upright piano, writing songs and meeting interesting people, I’m going to be writing about it.
Like and subscribe if you wish, otherwise, have a great day!