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Talents – Add to My List…

Professional TALENTS (a very incomplete list!)

No one has them all, but every great performer has a collection of TALENTS that make them successful. Here are a few, many not directly related to singing:

Stage performing TALENTS
-public speaking (for stage banter!)
-physical balance and poise
-knowing how to stand
-knowing what to do with your hands
-mic technique
-running a great sound check
-communicating with other musicians
-rolling with mistakes or unexpected events
-clapping on 2 and 4
-designing a great set list

Non-stage performing TALENTS
-showing up on time (if it’s not a talent, why do so many people have such a hard time with it???)
-contract negotiation
-graphic design (someone has to do the web site and T-shirts!)
-being prepared for rehearsal
-learning music on their own time
-working effectively in long rehearsals
-live sound engineering (plus loading, transporting, setting up)
-possessing a creative mind that can find interesting ways to perform old songs
-studio recording and mixing

In the comments below, list as many non-singing “TALENTS” as you can think of that successful singers have.

Keeping in mind that there is no hard and fast rules in entertainment – give examples of singers you know who do NOT have those talents.

-Mister Tim

  • Organ

    Stage talents: Drive,  ambition, proper attitude,  proper appearance,  dress  properly for the occasion or venue, dress for the audience, make the best of the looks God gave you, smile no matter what,  be professional, focus and pay attention to what is going on, listen attentively to  both musical and non-musical happenings, proper language, no swearing or derogatory remarks, look as if you like what you are doing and are happy to be there, no smoking or  alcohol on stage, know your P.A. system thoroughly, carry a spare mic, cables, mic batteries.  Have your own equipment and P.A. if necessary. Don’t count on someone else to provide you with a decent P.A.

    Non stage talents:  No drugs, try to quit smoking, go easy on  the alcohol,  get proper food and rest,  have your own transportation, your own money with you and on you , don’t borrow,  be careful lending,  practice regularly, keep in shape,  work hard at  your craft,  keep up with current material  and equipment, don’t leave things to chance.   Keep an eye on your belongings, money and equipment due to theft. Be a schooled musician if you can. Gain  respect of the others, Be fair,  Make an effort to get along with others. Try  to defuse conflicts or arguments rather than pouring gasoline on the fire.  STD’s are rampant – avoid them. Don’t take VD home to  your partner, Be able to make repairs to your equipment, Carry at least  basic toolkit, soldering gun etc. Give your wife/ partner  proper time,  respect  and love. We musicians tend to fall in love with our music. Don’t hustle the girl  the band. Stand your ground professionally, Don’t gang up on the newest, weakest or  youngest member of the band. Don’t quit school to join a band. Be careful of joint purchase of equipment. Have a pre-arranged agreement as to what happens  with equipment when the band breaks up.

  • Kathy

    MAny great singers have the ability to be transparent and let their true emotions become apparent to everyone.  Many great song writers seem to have the talent of intuition, insight, and the ability to make someone else understand exactly what you are trying to explain. Great performers have a sense of humour, excellent intuition and social skill

  • Acting skills for emitting emotion, but also knowing when to be real, and never insincere. Being thankful for opportunities, being objective about talent (theirs and others), always striving to improve, being able to “flip the switch” and perform even if conditions aren’t perfect. Fearless (butterflies are normal, thinking that you can only sing in front of people if you’re “perfect” is unhealthy). Acting professional whether you are performing for two people or two thousand people. Doing your homework! And knowing what your values are and sticking up for yourself when necessary. Not being afraid to walk away.
    PS. “Organ”…I can tell you are a “road warrior.” Amen to all you said. :)