(Hu)Man of Many Hats (ep4): Don't Be A Thermometer, Crank Up The Heat!
"Find Your True Audience. Not Everyone Will Get It & That's OK. It Keeps You Being True To Yourself"

Sure it's incredible to perform in a packed arena for thousands of rabid fans, but sometimes it's just as fun to just belt it out for one sleeping buddy in his garage!

I LOVE performing.

I LOVE the feeling of stepping on stage.

I LOVE being in the spotlight.

I LOVE seeing, hearing, & feeling the energy of the crowd.

I LOVE the immediate feedback loop in a performance: The call & response of message sent, message received.

I LOVE knowing that I have entertained a crowd and added something positive & fun to their lives.

And I'm not gonna lie---I LOVE the attention :)

BUT--I really don't NEED an audience. I enjoy the performance so much, that I'm happy with or without the large audience. I love it because it's FUN. I get to create & express ideas in any way I like and that is really, REALLY FUN.

Of course I'd prefer to have an audience (sooner or later without an audience I'd just be the crazy guy ranting & raving on the corner).  But every time I step on stage I am loving every minute of it, because I'm having FUN. The act itself is fulfilling, regardless of the audience feedback. I think that's a big reason that the vast majority of my audiences have fun at my shows--monkey see, monkey do! (seriously sometimes I'm just a big ape on stage)

I have performed for thousands and I have also performed for single digit crowds. But you'd be hard pressed to see a difference in my act whether it's 7000 people or 7 (except that I'd probably be on a first name basis with those 7 by the end of my show).

Case in point--just last week I did what most would call a "crappy bar show" (paying my dues, right??) with only a few tables of audience members.

I could EASILY have had the attitude of "oh man, what a shitty turnout, this sucks" and given a half-ass effort because "what's the point? It's only 7 people...". But they would have gotten a shitty show, I would have felt shitty, and ultimately the entire night would have been a shitty waste of time for everyone.

So why would I settle for a total loss? Not to mention the fact that I was being paid--so as a professional, copping out with a half-ass effort was not an option for me. 

Since I first started performing, I made a pact with myself that I would always strive to deliver an A+ performance regardless of the size of the crowd and give whoever showed up my 100%.

You gotta be able to blow away 7 people before you can blow away 7000. Plus, it's not the fault of the 7 people who showed up, that the other 6993 didn't. They showed up, so I make sure I show up too.

Don't let circumstances determine your performance. Always bring your A-game.

If you are always waiting for the perfect audience before your deliver your perfect performance, you will probably never get there. But, if you always give your best performance, sooner or later the audience will be there.

One of the greatest lessons I was ever taught was "Don't be a Thermometer. Be a Thermostat."

You see, thermometers are purely reactionary. All they can do is measure the temperature and report it. The number on a thermometer is entirely dependant on it's circumstances. If it's a hot room, the thermometer reads hot. If it's a cold room, the thermometer reads cold. That's all a thermometer can do. There's never been a smoking hot thermometer in an ice cold room--it just can't happen.

Thermostats on the other hand, are far more powerful. Thermostats don't just measure and report back. Thermostats have the POWER TO  AFFECT CHANGE.  They measure the room, and if the result is not what is needed, they change it. If it's too cold, thermostats send a message to the furnace to CRANK UP THE HEAT!

Whether you are a performer or not, understand that you every time you step into a room, you are stepping on a stage and you have the power to affect change in that room with your audience.

In your work, your relationships & your family:

Don't settle for being a thermometer... BE A THERMOSTAT & CRANK UP THE HEAT!!!


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