Please welcome to the stage…
We were mid show this week, singing like our hair was on fire and banging out the hits (well, arias) when it was time to take the Bravo Amici show to another, more personal, level: our piano or ‘story’ section where we are accompanied solely by piano, we sing individually a song of our choice which is meaningful to us, and we explain why.
I walked on alone to introduce the segment and said:
“Please welcome our pianist to the stage, Miss Shuree” ……..
Nothing. Nada. Zip.
The pianist was a no show. I had to act fast.
So many times we’ve had things thrown at us during a performance – technical issues, sound problems, power cuts, horrendous weather, stand-offs between clients’ egos…
And we deal with anything, always with a smile on our face. Like a swan, serene on the top, legs swimming furiously underneath.
That’s what years of practice does for you. This sort of anomaly makes me even more proud of Incognito Artists and all that we’ve experienced in the last 16 years in the surprise entertainment market. There’s not much our Tenors and Divas haven’t faced and yet, regardless, we have to make sure we deliver a transformational, extraordinary performance every time.
So then what happened?
Simon delivered a stunning accapella performance of Empty Chairs and Empty Tables (from Les Miserables) which would make any grown man cry, while Emily ran to another building to collect her music so she could accompany Betsy, Jared, me and herself on the piano instead.
The audience thought it was part of the subterfuge! “You fooled us again!” they said. “It’s all part of the ruse!” they said. Until I told them the truth. “Ah no. Actually I could pretend but I want to be honest with you because this is a live show, anything can happen! We want you to share the adventure with us!”
No matter what, we made sure they left feeling like they had the BEST time ever.
Regardless of any problems directed at me at a gig, I don’t get out of bed for anything less than blowing people’s minds!
What did I learn?
I should have checked with the pianist and confirmed details, made sure all members of the team were accounted for before I went on stage! She could have said, “I won’t see you tomorrow, have a great show!” which would have prompted me to say, “wait, hold on, we won’t see you tomorrow..?” Or our agent could have double checked dates and details of every show with her.
But ultimately it was me who was left with egg on my face on stage so I learned again it was up to me to never assume. To assume makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’, right! It’s best to make sure, Geoff!
So many assume. So little know.
And the word ‘assumption’ means to take on power or responsibility. It’s synonym is acceptance. So it was also my responsibility to take responsibility and accept my mistake when I assumed!
What other assumptions do we make in life? We often assume we know what other people are thinking. That’s a good one. We have no idea of what our spouse, our boss or our kids are thinking! We’re not in their heads! We have to ask them and communicate and only then will we know what’s on their mind. We’d save ourselves a lot of pain and suffering, and them, if we realised that and stopped putting words into other people’s mouths or acting as if something is a certain way because we ‘think’ they’ll say that/behave like that, when WE made it up in our heads in the first place. We have to take responsibility for our assumption.
So. Here’s to never assuming, and here’s to rolling with any surprise or hiccup and making sure we hit it out of the park!