I was walking down one of the busiest
streets in one of the busiest cities in the world, when I saw man juggling. Not
on the corner, but in motion. He was walking, briskly, jamming out on his
headphones, while keeping three balls in the air, for seven straight blocks.
watched him the entire time, and no matter how many pedestrians, vehicles,
pigeons, delivery guys, police officers, bike messengers, hot dog vendors and
wide eyed tourists that he passed, the balls never dropped.
It was a thing of
beauty. But also a powerful reminder. Because when you practice with
distractions, you learn to fight for your life. You train yourself to deal with
less than perfect conditions. And you insure yourself against the external
forces that aim to deter you from your high performance path.
Animal owners are
taught to do the same. Training manuals explain that early exposure to a wide
variety of stimuli will result in a steady dog that is better able to deal with
aural, visual and olfactory distractions. They even suggest turning on the
television and scattering food on the floor and leaving smelly socks in the
corner to assure that your dog becomes more consistent and reliable.
different for humans. If we are to enhance our level of concentration and
focus, we must intentionally try to disrupt ourselves.
I learned thisbuskingin the park.
Each week when I preform, my music is met with a barrage of distractions, from
car horns to ambulance sirens to security trucks to barking dogs to punk ass
kids to screaming babies to urinating hobos.
Initially, it was quite frustrating
and jarring. But after the first few months of playing, I began to embrace it.
Because I trusted that the distractions were making me a stronger performer. They
were assuring that my concentration didn’t become erratic when it mattered most.
And so, whatever type of performer you are, find a way to mentally and
physically prepare for unusual events. Periodically incorporate distractions into
your preparation rituals and learn how to quickly and quietly cope with them.
might set multiple alarms on your phone to go off during rehearsal. You might have
friend to sit the room and try to throw you off your game. You might play heavy
metal music in the background while you recite your lines. You might cover your
floor with toys and props to practice embracing physical obstacles.
technique you employ, the goal is to be able to find the inner focus that
exists regardless of the external environment. That’s where true showmanship is
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How could you become so accustomed to stress, distractions, and pressure, that they no longer phase you?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of the list called, “11 Things to Stop Wasting Your Time On,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.
Now booking for 2016-2017.
Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!