Imagine having a conversation with someone about something they are insanely concerned with. This could be the health of a loved one, their school success or just general anxiety. Now, if you really care about this person you usually do anything you can to show them you care. You talk to them in a supportive manner, you show them how far they’ve come, you over do the feeling in which you want them to feel and then they take that energy, either take it 100% as is or they (usually) diminish it a bit and feel better even with a small percentage of that energy. That’s called “making someone feel better”, and that came from genuine concern and a genuine raw pure emotion.
Now in life, you meet people all the time. Some people stand out to you as caring and some don’t. To me, that comes across in how they hold themselves, how they GENUINELY are as people. No matter who you are, or how you grew up, if you truly think and feel something in your heart, it will be portrayed at some point in some way. This is called “their vibe” (how you feel around this person), this could be straight up through word of mouth, or this can be shown through physical actions of one’s persona (refer to last blog to discuss physical attributes in relation to emotion).
Now think about children. They laugh at anything. They laugh at everyone (mostly) and are called “a ball of joy” for a reason! Now the more you mature, the more experiences you get. In those experiences you learn things about how to react, act, think, what you like in someone, what you don’t like and you think about all these things subconsciously as you are in contact with someone. Now because of this, you have learned to read people subconsciously, like we said in the last blog, you understand people without knowing who they are. In reference to “You Are Not So Smart” by DAVID MCRANEY, first impressions are your fundamental foundation on someone, or like i said, their “vibe”. This first impression (just like when applying for a job) is everything that you’ll be perceived as going forward. It is insanely difficult to change someone's true impressions on you without doing something out of the blue to benefit the other person which in retrospect “changes” their opinion (as we know by now, doesn’t change it 100%).
Have you ever been on a date and something inside you just didn’t feel right? Like you know you don’t bond with this person or you know there is something that you don’t particularly like about them, but you go with it anyway? Then sooner or later things end and you talk to your friend and say “see i told you, they were crazy”. This is an example of a “forced personality”, you knew this wasn’t who you were or how you talked, but you went with it anyway and sooner or later it all crashed and came back on you. In life this happens all the time. Sometimes we do it to please others and sometimes we do it because we REALLY REALLY want a certain something, or a certain sense of gratitude within yourself that we end up forcing things and in the end we “realize” it wasn’t who we truly were.Except in reality we all “knew it” from the get go.
The reason i brought the dating story up is because in life this happens all the time. We pretend to be people were not and that never shows who we truly are. Sometimes we act a certain way with specific friends because the vibe they first gave us when we met and therefore we feel the need to use certain words, combinations of phrases and facial features that make them feel like we’re close, but in reality we're not.
Here’s another example. Growing up, most males (including myself), grew up with kids who liked to swear, talk aggressively, start fights, or just give off the alpha male vibe. I’ve never been the kind to do most of these things. Nowadays, if i see one of those kids, i find myself acting a certain way, slouching or talking a certain way, doing those gangster handshakes........ you know, the ones where you fist bump at the end and all that, using specific words, sometimes saying little swear words without noticing it, all because i want them to feel a certain vibe so we can connect for the duration of that conversation. In reality, that’s not who i am. Of course there are so many attributes as to why people do this, maybe it’s to make yourself feel better if the other person is smiling, maybe it’s to make them feel like they have a bond, maybe it’s because we’ve evolved to show off, maybe I’m trying to be the alpha since i never was growing up. These are all little things that make up who we really are.
Now, when you show your art. Nerves come into play. This tends to take away the relaxing aspect. With that, comes overthinking which leads to tightness, which leads to sometimes slurred words, which can change the end result because you are constantly thinking about others and how they view you. This doesn’t mean your fake, it just means you got nervous. That’s fine, and everyone can get that persona by the end of the performance no problemo.
What worries me, is how people play, stand, vibrate, phrase their music, draw their pictures, in a way that doesn’t show who they are. This can come from a physical aspect or it can come from the “vibe". I'm focusing on the vibe because the physical aspect is quite obvious, you dance like someone, you stand like someone, you tilt your head like someone yadayadayada.
Coming back to earlier this blog, if you truly feel a certain way it’ll show. If you are a timid person, it’ll show. If you a eccentric funny crazy person, it will show. If you play out of aggression or to prove something of yourself, it’ll show. Some people may argue that when you are in your art you are a different person, but that's when "fake" playing comes into play.
I had a conversation with a good friend of mine about this and she said something like this:
“When we play (or do anything really) it's an opportunity to show who you are, your morals, what type of person you are (insecure, confident, in love with what you do, trying to show off, or prove something) whatever it is, it shows every time you present yourself. That's both scary and beautiful.
Technique and all things "hard" with playing come with work (that's the concept behind practicing). Performing is showing who you are, not what you can do. It’s a really complex topic if you believe it to be, it's easier said than done to say "just do it and show what you love"
But it's just a reminder that we do things because it connects deep within us first, and that in retrospect affects the people around us.
But it starts with you”
-Violinist/Violist, Alisa Klebanov
That is essentially what we’ve been discussing through everyday examples. If you feel a certain way, or think about something a certain way, it’ll show. Some people won’t know how to express it but they'll feel it. Some people can say right off the bat that “something is up” and some won’t, that comes from who they are, but right now we’re focusing on who you are.
At the end of the day you don’t need to show who they want you to be, just who you want to be.
In everyday life, and in art.
Next blog we’ll be talking about motivation! What makes someone come across as passionate compared to someone else! Or how to bring out your passion all through emotional, physical and spiritual attributes!
Till next time.