Peggy Still Johnson’s Personal Advice & Performance Tips
On August 25th, 2009 Peggy Still Johnson was invited to sing the National Anthem for the Atlanta Braves! What was more interesting was that the Braves were playing against the San Diego Padres, Peggy’s hometown team. Let’s not get into details as to who won the game; the highlight of the night was most definitely Peggy’s performance. We got a chance to ask her a few questions about her performance.
Q: First off, were you nervous? Better yet, how nervous were you? PSJ: I was definitely nervous! but knew how important it was to stay focused. The National Anthem is not something you want to mess up – We Americans take our Anthem very seriously. It’s personal for all of us.
Q: What did you do in order to overcome your pre-performance jitters? PSJ: I just made sure I was very prepared both musically and mentally. You hear it all the time but it’s so true, “Practice makes perfect”. I’ve learned the best antidote to nerves is preparation. I also went to a Braves game earlier in the season to get an idea of where to stand, what to do, and just make notes! I also try and make my preparation fun. I wanted to make sure my performance was as perfect as possible.
Q: Do you have any tips for others performers about how to get over any unsettling nerves or pre-misconceptions about performing in front of any size crowd? PSJ: Wherever you perform, whether it’s in a stadium or a living room in front of your family, the first key is to stay focused. Find a focal point on a wall or anywhere you think is best and sing to it. Smile, nod, show emotion as if singing to an audience. That way you as an artist can remain focused on words, pitch, and stage presence. It helps me, and will for you, so much with not being easily distracted. Also practice practice practice! When that big performance day comes you don’t want to be regretting while you’re nervous at the same time. This is meant to be fun. The more prepared you are, the more you’ll be able to enjoy it and the better you’ll do!
Q: I feel many of us think it’s impossible to get to a high level of performing such as the Braves game, what would you say about that? PSJ: Nothing is impossible. If you have the talent, are prepared, and partake in all the opportunities to perform, doors will be opened. You begin to meet the right people and soon if you have a good CD and promotional materials, people will book you for events. Also you cannot give up – keep trying. You have to believe you can do it, and then put that belief into action.
Q: Any other inside performing secrets you are willing to let us in on? PSJ: Of course! These are just a few rules each time I perform. These are what I guess you would call my “secret performing recipe”.
- Pick songs that fit the gig and also songs that your audience will want to hear. Performing is about your audience – especially if you want them to come back and support you again.
- Dress well and dress so you fit in at the venue and gig. Many musicians do not realize how important appearance is. If you are not good with style, then ask a friend who has great style to help you. Professional artists have the complete package.
- Get to the gig early. This will keep you calm – also reliability is just as important as talent especially if you want to get hired again. The venue does not want to hear about your drama on how you tried to get there on time or early.
- Promote promote promote! Help the venue make some money and they will invite you back.
So there you have it! Your inside scoop on Peggy Still Johnson’s personal performance tips and secrets.
Start off with taking lessons at the Peggy Still School of Music for whatever area of music you want. We’ll teach you more than you could ever dream about when it comes to music. Not only that, with The Peggy Still School of Music you get to learn and be shown off at any of our performance events. So put these tips into action now and let us personally help you one on one.
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