Even from my earliest days, I loved to perform my songs. We found some old pictures recently and of course, there I was, guitar in hand, sharing a song. This was years ago. We were actually with my wife’s grandparents and funny enough, her grandfather was a guitar player. Even was on the road back in the day.

I have a lot of people asking me how to overcome stage fright, but I’m not sure I have an answer for that because I am not sure I ever really felt it. Naturally, I get a little nervous before every performance. It’s a big responsibility – so many eager ears ready to hear what you have to impart. Will you do it perfectly? Will they notice if you mess something up? Will they be a gracious audience? Will you move them?

But I think I felt deep in my soul early on that this is what I was really created to be. Somehow, once I get up there in front of everyone, all else falls away and all my attention is on the song and the people there to hear it.

Any artist will tell you that there is nothing like the feeling of performing in front of a live audience. To see their faces, measure their reactions, hear their applause, laughter or even see their tears does something special. It lets you know this thing you have created, that is actually a part of you, stirred something somewhere within another human. It made their feelings come alive and for a moment, you have this beautiful connection that you really can’t get any other way.

Through the years, I have realized that this doesn’t happen with every performance. Playing in bars, restaurants and other venues where music is just in the background actually leaves you feeling dry and empty. Sure, someone will inevitably come up afterward and tell you they enjoyed your set. But you don’t get the opportunity to forge that real connection with them. As a matter of fact, these performances leave me so discouraged that I don’t do them anymore.

The concert we did recently is an example of the types of events I want to do more of. We kept the audience right at 30 people. Large enough to be able to have some feeling in the room, but not too big where that feeling gets lost. We took some time beforehand to chat and catch up. They allowed me the time to share the stories between songs and at the end, we had a moment to hug and say goodnight. I can’t speak for everyone there, but for me, it was such a rewarding evening – hearing their applause, their praise and seeing their smiles as they left. I can’t wait to do it again!

The perfect outlet for these types of events is through house concerts. The comfortable and casual environment in a home provides the perfect atmosphere for an intimate show. Sure, there’s no impressive stage, killer backdrop and usually not elaborate lighting. But the energy in the room and the warmth that is felt as the music is delivered is beyond compare to any big stadium show.

House concerts are my most favorite events. I am always eager to speak with anyone who is interested in hosting one. As a host, there is nothing more fun that to prepare for this type of evening and watch it all come together with roaring success. If you would like to learn more, stop by my House Concert page for all the details! And if you have an opportunity to attend one of these events in your area, don’t pass it up!

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