Thoughts from the classroom of Livingston Taylor
Stage Performance-Berklee College of Music

  • You need your audience a lot more than they need you. Behave accordingly.
  • Study your heroes until you find out who their heroes are. Then study them.
  • I'm your competition, and I'm not turning over my audience to you because your mommy likes you. PS: (Your competition is much better than you think they are.)
  • Your parents didn't have you. They had sex and you showed up!
  • Never be sick, tired or busy.
  • The world belongs not to the talented and the deserving, but to the tenacious and the fortunate.
  • See everything. Know nothing.
  • They won't accept your passion until they're held by your discipline.
  • You are a chain, and your ability to be aware of and to work on your weakest links will make you strong and compassionate.
  • Practice (start now).
  • Do not assign to any person, place or thing your pain. Own your broken heart.
  • You chose to be a creator. Never complain.


Performance Workshop
January 11, 2014
Led by Greg Trafidlo, Britt Mistele, Mike Pearrell
3rd Street Coffee House - Roanoke, VA

Click for Slide Show
Click on a photo to see the slide show (21 photos).
(Photos by Leigh Littleton and Larry Sakayama.)

Performance Key Points

  • The gig starts before you enter the building.
  • Be in the moment. Before, during, and after the gig
  • Be in tune...literally and figuratively.
  • What's your vibe when you walk on stage?
  • Present as if there's nowhere else you'd rather be.
  • Practice your intros as well as your songs.
  • Your Set list is a set map. Planning is crucial. Don't look unprepared
  • The stage belongs to you. All of it. Go off mic. Rest.
  • Focus...maintain eye contact throughout the performance.
  • Be authentic. Don't try to be a cut-out of someone else.
  • Keep curiosity, don't give a synopsis to the song as your intro.
  • "I have something to share with you."
  • First song is sound check. Try a cappella, if you dare.
  • Understand the song. Put yourself in the emotion of the song.
  • Show a vulnerable moment.
  • End show inclusively.
  • Use the ride home as review time.

Download Key Points pdf
Download Livingston Taylor Thoughts pdf

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