New Years Resolution to get on stage? Local performers have Allsorts of advice

happy new year 2018

A fresh new year means new goals and plans for the 12 months ahead.  That might mean losing weight or getting more organised... or maybe for you it means stepping up from singing in the shower and wasting your jokes on your unappreciative cat, and getting your aspiring performer self on stage.

Some of those aspiring performers will end up at Allsorts, a free monthly open-access show at the Saleyard Distillery.  The show provides a safe launchpad for new artists, and a place for more experienced performers to experiment and test new material.

Some of Rockhampton's established and emerging performers looked back at their early shows, and offered their advice to new

Young singer-songwriter Bec Ellen went from strength to strength last year, and her current single Love Isn't Easy is turning heads.

“It's okay to make mistakes, but don't talk yourself into it," Bec says to new musicians starting out.  "Use positive language to support yourself as you would any other performer."

Rather than saying ‘I won’t stuff up’, say ‘I’m going to do great’!
— Bec Ellen

“Writing down these positive affirmations the night before helped me alleviate anxiety before my first performances,” Bec says.

Kayla Kirk runs Kayla's Studio of the Arts, a multi-disciplinary studio that's moving into new digs for 2018.  You can check out their new space on the corner of Williams and East streets at their open day on Saturday, Jan 20 from 11am - 2pm.

Kayla says confidence is key - at least looking it, even if you're not feeling it.

“Coming from a dance background you learn that a lot of the people you are performing for know nothing about what you're doing.  So don’t worry about being perfect, because most of them won’t even know if you mess up."

As long as you look convincing and confident, they will be oblivious.
— Kayla Kirk

Stella McMahon is a familiar face to anyone who's been to a Little Theatre production in Rockhampton or Yeppoon, either on the stage or keeping the ship sailing behind the scenes.  She's one of the stars of locally-made feature film Lost & Found, due for release in 2018, and is part of the cast for February's Rocky Radio: Live on Stage.

“Practice, practice, practice, in front of friends as well as alone, and then go and have fun," Stella says.

Take a few controlled deep breaths and gather your first words before stepping on stage.  The audience will only know you’ve made a mistake if you make it obvious, so keep going and they will be with you.
— Stella McMahon

Amanda Hock is an actor, who brought Elphaba to life in last year's amazing local production of Wicked, as well as outings with Red Foot Cabaret and running Lock & Hock Productions with husband Travis.  The duo have a series of workshops coming up later in January, with something for everyone from people who've never set foot on stage to experienced actors.

Amanda echoes the advice to put on a brave face, even if the nerves are biting.

“If you look like you confidently know what you’re doing, the audience will believe it too.  They want you to be successful.”

Amanda also has advice for reviewing your first efforts, so you can celebrate the good bits, and learn from the shaky bits.

Video yourself - I am my own worst critic, and I see things in myself that others wouldn’t see.
— Amanda Hock

Actor and stand up comedian Jarred Kennedy says it's a two-way relationship with the audience.

“We are there to entertain the audience, and they're there to tell us what does and doesn't work."

It doesn’t matter too much if you stuff up or look stupid. If you’re having fun up there, and actually expressing some part of yourself, I guarantee that’s what they’ll remember most.
— Jarred Kennedy

Rockhampton's nervous newbies and rising stars take to the microphone again at Allsorts this Saturday night, January 6, from 6:30pm at the Saleyards Distillery.