Sheer terror with my first Stream
After watching hundreds of Live Music Streams on Twitch, I felt I knew how. I was confident I could simply dive in because I'm a musician with live gig experience. I'm comfortable playing music in front of an audience. All was going well during preparation. I had solved audio issues and everything was sounding great. The camera angle and lighting looked great. I even had a rough map of what songs I was going to play over about 45 minutes to an hour. I felt prepared. I hit the "Go Live" button feeling a little nervous but started plonking away on my keyboard. I immediately felt super self-conscious. I felt an urge to skip from one song to the next, thinking I might be instantly boring anyone paying attention. Luckily for me there was no one paying attention. Until there was. My 0 viewers suddenly shot up to 1 viewer and I thought, "oh-shoot! Now what do I do?" and I didn't remember to talk. I didn't even remember how to talk. Well okay, I thought, I can just keep playing and maybe they will simply enjoy my music. Within a few moments there were 3 viewers and then - that first comment appeared in the chat, "Sounds great," and I admit I kind of froze up. I didn't say anything and I didn't know how to respond or what to say. Nothing came naturally. Live Music Streaming is fun but it's also hard and it's different from playing by yourself or in front of an audience. What makes it hard for me is that lack of a physical audience to gauge. Instead, when the audience is viewing, your only indication is the displayed number of viewers and any comments that appear in the Chat. Certainly not natural for me to respond to Chat. I can see now that Live Music Streaming has it's own special kind of performance skills, audience reading and interaction. It's partly about talking to yourself while you are playing or practicing your instrument. Verbally walking through what song you are working on and what thoughts you have. If you see you have 1 viewer, acknowledge them with a simple, "hey, how does this sound to you?" Maybe the best way is to find my "inner Bob Ross." Bob seems to have been the prototype streamer. Able to talk easily and warmly to the camera and viewers. Bob would have instantly taken to Live Streaming. I am excited doing more streaming and developing different performance skills and overcoming my shyness. As I get better I will report back and blog about it while sharing any tips I might have. I urge other musicians thinking about Live Music Streaming to try it because it's a fun and a great skill to have and a great way to connect with other human beings. It's also a bit of a rush when the sheer terror kicks in.