How to Overcome Anxiety Before Gigs

It is inevitable to feel anxious before your gigs, especially if you’re a newbie. Anxiety can be a good thing if properly managed. It is just a reminder that you are about to perform in front of a passionate crowd who can’t wait to enjoy your beautiful performance. Even the biggest and best DJs have to deal with anxiety, so it is essential always to remember you are not alone in this. Use it as a reminder that you are living your dream. Nonetheless, let’s look at how to deal with anxiety as a DJ.

Reframe it.

A lot of anxiety has to do with your mindset at the time. Your heart is pounding, sweat dripping down your face. And your throat seems very dry. You can barely speak. It’s normal to feel this way. If you can, try to laugh about it, tell yourself it is not the end of the world and the moment will soon pass. Try as much as possible to enjoy your performance. While performing, imagine you are a kid in your bedroom having fun. Just go with the flow. Don’t try too hard to impress.

Scared of messing it up.

Trust me. Your fans are tolerant. They won’t even know if you made a mistake or not. Just don’t stop playing. Keep the party going and adjust along the way. Always prepare for the best but expect anything. Be Flexible and open-minded when you play. Every famous DJ you can think of as made mistakes, and they continue to make mistakes. They never stop because no one notices or cares as long as they have fun.

Even if they notice, no one cares as long as they get a chance to jump around and have fun. So never stop the party, keep it going no matter what. It is not the end of the world, and it is not the end of your career. Just have fun with it.

Prepare well, but expect anything.

There’s no such thing as perfect preparation. No matter how much you prepare, some things are just out of your control. This is the industry you find yourself so deal with it. It is not always your fault. Just be ready to perform and have fun.

Remember your best performance.

This is a quick way to change your mood and get you feeling excited again. The thought of past great performances can elevate your mood. The same feeling you had during that performance will be activated. This is how you turn a moody vibe into an upbeat and excited one. If it is your first gig, think of a fond memory when playing.

Pick a target.

Another trick is to pick a target — usually someone upbeat and enjoying your performance. Feed off their energy by continually checking with them, keeping eye contact. You will be amazed at how this takes off the edge and keeps you relaxed. Imagine you are playing for them and do everything to impress them. Lockout everyone else and focus on your target. If you lose your target, pick the next one and continue with the process.

Take a deep breath.

If you feel like you are not connecting with the audience or your songs are not hitting the right spots, then take a deep breath. It might be because you feel like you are losing control or you feel like you are messing things up. Just pause, take deep breaths and continue. Anxiety causes shallow breathing leading to racing heartbeats. So slow things down and breathe slowly.

Anxiety will never disappear, unfortunately. Whether you are a pro or just a beginner dealing with anxiety is something that never goes away. Just learn to deal with it and use it to your benefit. That is what the greatest DJs have done over the years. They enjoy anxiety. It is their superpower. They can use it to take their game to the next level. Learn to do the same.

 

 

How can I get a promoter to listen to my mix?

There are so many things you may be tempted to do to get a promoter to listen to your mixed tapes. But the reality is some promoters are just too busy to listen to your mixed tapes. Plus they already have a network of DJs they book for their events. But you can still get their attention, and I will share some tips.

Attend their events

You must understand promoters want success just like you. The one thing they live and breathe is the number of event attendees. Hence, nothing will please them more to know you’ve invested your time and money to attend their event. It means you are promoting their business. They will reciprocate the gesture. 

Find a good time when they are not too stressed or busy. Introduce yourself; make sure you create an impression. Then you can follow up on this the next day and so on. Once there’s been a genuine connection, you can send your mixed tapes for the promoter to listen. 

This is very normal. As humans, we are interested in people who are interested in us. So if you want a promoter to be interested in your mixtapes and potentially book you, then you must show a genuine interest in them. This will also give you an idea of the event style and sound, the crowd enjoys.

Pick your set wisely.

If you are starting, you will likely be a warm-up DJ for the event. It would be hard to be the main event when you are just beginning. So bear this in mind. Every big DJ started from somewhere, so there’s nothing wrong with it. Hence, produce your mix to warm up the crowd.

Pick your name accordingly.

Ideally, you want to organise your mixes according to different events. For instance, if someone loved one of your mashups from a particular event and wanted to have a copy of your mix, it will be easy to go to the archives and grab it if it was labelled correctly. An example can be “warm-up mix – fanatics party”. This could be the name of your mix for the fanatic party. 

Do your research

This should be the first thing you do. It is that important. Know the club or event you are to play for. What is their sound? What does the audience like? Is there a particular theme to master? These are all things to know before even preparing your mixtapes. 

Imagine a scenario you spent your time preparing hardcore mixtapes only to find out later that it is an EDM club. This would be a disaster. It is essential to do your homework well beforehand. If you do your homework well, the promoter will quickly give you the gig. 

Attend their events, follow them on social media, keep up to date with their latest activities, and get feedback from them. A sure way to secure a gig is by asking for honest feedback. Don’t come off needy. Nobody likes neediness. 

Instead, ask for an honest opinion regardless of whether they give you a gig or not. Unless they are swamped, most will spend time to listen to your mixtapes and may even book you. 

Most of this is common sense. It all boils down to doing your research and creating banging mixtapes. Then, taking your opportunity when it presents itself.

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