I thought I’d reflect a little more on my entry from May 10th. Specifically, how to find your ‘zone.’ I’m using that term to reference the mind space performers find themselves in when they are the most focused, creative and a possess a heightened capacity for channeling their ideas and inspiration.
I’m most happy with a performance when I’ve found my zone. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s difficult to find and even when I’ve found it, it’s difficult to retain. It occurred to me that your zone is a place of absolute freedom from the constraints of self-consciousness. If a performer is NOT in the zone, they may feel an internal pressure to play a certain thing or sound a certain way.
For example, they may be overly concerned that they are boring their audience, and feel pressure to alter their performance to keep them engaged and entertained. They may be unprepared or nervous. They may be fearful of sounding un-hip and therefore artificially hipify their music. Maybe they feel a pressure to sound like someone they’re not, hoping to bypass judgment from their peers. They’re all different issues, but will all contribute to the clouding of your zone.
What’s the solution? It mostly boils down to performance experience. And playing what you know and only what you know. Develop a concept you’re confident with and put yourself on the line.
Otherwise, you’ll sound how you feel: unfocused and out of your zone.
Be brave and be honest.