Performing on the Introvert Stage
When you think of musicians, you think of someone who’s outspoken and dedicated to performing to the masses. Typically, you would think that a person who regularly plays in front of people would be completely at ease when interacting with a crowd, but that’s not always the case. I am a musician. I grew up on art and music and my life is dedicated to the creative process. But when it comes to people, well, that’s a work in progress.
I’m an introvert. By definition that means I am “a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.” (Oxford Languages) Ask my wife, she’ll tell you that’s pretty accurate. Sometimes she even has to remind me to say hello.
Although being a performer and an introvert doesn’t seem to jive, somehow it works. Introversion is great for the creative process in which I can really delve into my experiences and feelings to create a melody or lyrics for a song with meaning. But performing the piece in front of people and interacting seems to be counter intuitive. Thankfully it’s not though.
Music history is full of introverts. Like I mentioned earlier, introversion is great for the creative process. Some famous introverts include George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Trent Reznor. All of these guys are considered to be music legends but all share the same self-reflective qualities.
Coping and Performing
Rock icon David Bowie was known to be shy and reserved. It is believed that his flashy costumes and dominant stage personas were his way of coping with the anxiety of performing. As a person who wants my own Nudie Suit and bring back the era of flashy Nashville styles, I can relate. At the risk of sounding cliché (or maybe I’ve already passed that point by using that phrase) I really do feel like a different person when I perform. It’s like I see the group in front of me and then the curtains open and the small little bit of extroversion I have comes out. I get my nerves together. I start strumming on my guitar. I sing a few bars and suddenly that quiet, reflective person takes a back seat so the performer can shine.
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Tags: performing, introvert, creative process, george harrison, jimi hendrix, kurt cobain, trent reznor, david bowie, nudie suit, nashville, extroversion
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