Holiday Gigs – Giving It Your All


Take your singing performance to an even higher level through the holidays –says Jennifer Truesdale. We’ve looked at your holiday gig promotion and at how to navigate money matters. Now, we come to the heart of it all: your performance. Here are my top tips for giving winning performances at this busy time of year:

Be well rehearsed and at your vocal best. This is true for all gigs but can be more challenging around the holiday season. Because it’s a busy time of year, getting your band-mates together for rehearsals can be trickier. Plan ahead to ensure that you get enough rehearsal time in before the show. You also want to be at your vocal best. It’s tempting to join the party but remember that you’re working here. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on your body, including your vocal cords, and over-indulging can result in a dry, husky, hoarse voice. Stay well hydrated, well rested, keep the alcohol to a minimum and warm your voice up well before the show. HolidayAll_Text01

Throw in a holiday classic or two, done in your own style of course. Remember Bruce Springsteen’s version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”? It became an instant hit, not only for the people who were at the show, but also for everyone who heard the live recording. Encourage your audience to sing along! I know this may sound a little corny, but audiences eat this kind of stuff up!

Look good! Dress like you belong on stage, not in the audience. Obviously your appearance on stage should reflect you, your music and your audience, but maybe step it up a notch or two. When you walk into the room, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that you are one of the musicians. **A note here. For private gigs you may be required to dress differently than you would for a club gig. Depending on the event a suit and tie or cocktail dress may be required. Go over this with the client ahead of time.** HolidayAll_Text02

Involve your audience. Everyone loves to sing along especially when it’s a song they know. If they don’t know the song, you can easily teach them a part or two. For a New Year’s Eve gig, try a rockin’ version of “Auld Lang Syne” and absolutely include the audience in the count down to midnight. Remember that you’re there to make great music but your audience is there to have a great time! Hand in hand with involving your audience would go acknowledging your audience. Thank folks for being there and acknowledge their applause. Make your audience feel like they are an important part of your show because, well, they are!

Give It Your All Off-Stage. This doesn’t just go for the holidays. Engage with your audience by talking with folks between and after your set(s). Sign CDs, wish them happy holidays, shake hands, greet and smile. During the holidays people open their hearts, meet them there with plenty of good cheer! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and much success in 2014! Jennifer Promote Your Holiday Gig Money at Your Holiday Gig

Get Paid To Sing: The Singer’s Guide to Making a Living Making Music is available online and in stores. See Jennifer Truesdale is a singer, songwriter, vocal coach, music career coach, published songwriter, former staff member at one of the largest independent record labels in the US, and is the Director of Chick Singer Night, Boston. She teaches and mentors a very active studio of aspiring musical artists.

  • Elizabeth Clark

    Love your suggestons, Jennifer! As an audience member who LOVES music, especially Christmas concerts, I certainly can attest that we love to be involved, whether it is singing along or “helping” out when someone forgets their lines.

  • patrice

    It is so much fun to be part of what makes the night magical even if all I need to do is listen and cheer.

  • alypain

    These are great tips for singers and public speakers! So much of any great performance is about preparation before hand. And it is easy to forget that the audience isn’t as enamoured as much by what I came out and said, but instead by the experience I helped to create for them while I was there.