Learning from Mistakes

I walked off stage after performing and thought to myself, “I was so bad.” To put this into context, let’s back up 15 minutes, before my act began…
I usually put my phone away before I perform, but I am bored. My set is starting late, since the performer before me began late. I’m sitting on a chair on stage, waiting for the call to open the curtain and begin my set. I’m scrolling through my Facebook feed and emails, trying to occupy my time while I wait for my turn to shine on stage. I’m not thinking about my act at all, but putting all of my attention into mindless social media trolling. After all, I know my set, right? I’m told that we’re about to begin. I return backstage, the introduction music begins and the curtain is pulled back. I stroll onstage, greet my audience and then perform a mediocre 15 minutes of entertainment. This is where the post began.
Now let’s fast forward a performance a week later, on the same stage. Again, the set is starting late, which I’m learning to accept as a normality at this venue. I use the spare time to run through my act multiple times, both in my head and going through the motions on stage. I feel confident that I know the set inside and out. I walk backstage and begin vocal exercises to make sure my audience understands me: “How now brown cow, why do you look so sad… Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers… boo, boh, bow, bah, bae, bee…” 
I’m told that we’re about to start. The introduction music begins and the curtain is pulled back. I whisper to myself, “You look great, and you’re a great performer,” (something I read in a magic book many years ago). I walk onstage to greet my audience, and then crush it on stage. It’s 15 minutes of killer, magic, mentalism and entertainment.
Both the audience and myself noticed a difference in my act, not because of the magic performed, but because of the preparation, or lack thereof, that I put in leading up to the set. Cockiness is a dangerous enemy, and I let my magic suffer if I do not dedicate time to get in the zone and focus on giving the best show possible. It’s not fair to me, and it’s not fair to my audiences. Lesson learned.

By Danny Dubin|Blog|2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. Bob Fitch
    April 7th, 2017

    Hi Danny,

    Thanks for the email….your notes on `learning from my mistakes` is so pertinent.
    Its like any actor who does his prep before the show….the warmup, the focusing on who he is, why he`s there, his character and his objectives and any other `get me in the moment`exercise…..or any performing musician, who has to warm up his fingers or dancer who has to warm up his body….the fact that focusing & warming up is all so necessary for a good performance…literally “being in the moment“, truly being there! So anything that takes you away from that is dangerous & can hurt your performance. You need energy for the show & and everything communicates to the audience….your voice, your gestures, your body, your ability to communicate & of course…a good routine and a good script. I hope others read your notes. Cheers, BF

  2. Danny Dubin
    April 20th, 2017

    Hi Bob,
    Thank you so much, and I’m glad you enjoyed the blog post. You’ve been a great help in helping me “get in the moment” and prepare for each of my shows. I hope you enjoy my future posts as well!

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