We pursue them. We spend lots of time planning for them. We work hard to make them happy.
They sometimes love us and sometimes don’t. They are our biggest supporters or our toughest critics. They might watch us intently, or they might totally ignore us.
These statements might apply to our family members or spouses. But in this case, we’re talking about musicians and our audiences.
While some musicians might enjoy playing in solitude, there’s no substitute for the affirmation that comes from the applause and attention of an audience. Their support is the backbone of our financial and musical success. Without people in the seats, there’s no chance at a music career.
However, we also have to acknowledge that audiences can be fickle. What one crowd loves may be totally rejected by another. That’s not a good feeling for any performer. Some of us respond by changing our musical style solely for the purpose of getting the audience’s approval. If we aren’t careful, we can become addicted to applause.
The answer to this addiction? Be yourself.
It’s perfectly normal to adjust your musical performance for your audience. Performing for a group of people is a privilege and we should do our best to meet their expectations.
However, seasoned musicians know that every performance won’t be enjoyed by everybody, and they don’t get discouraged when their music falls on deaf ears. Neither do they constantly change their artistic vision to appease the masses. A true artist knows that if they are dedicated to excellence in their craft, the people who appreciate their work will eventually find them.
Applause sounds best when it’s in response to authenticity.