[Applied Self-Confidence] Up On Stage

While there’s something to be said for playing life safely, when the opportunity strikes, jump up on life’s stage! Get outside your comfort zone! Even for just a minute. The experience will probably be uncomfortable, you might need to push through fatigue, or embarrass yourself. You might step in spilled beer, get bumped into harmlessly, or get your picture taken. You also might not get the best shot. That’s still better than no shot whatsoever!

Everything in life is about calculated risk.

If you have sufficient time to assess a situation, gauge the risks, determine the rewards, then you can jump. It’s easier when you’ve shed any false assumptions about yourself. If you’re just there for the experience, whether it be a concert or career, then it’s fine to make mistakes because usually the worst that’ll happen is a minor scrape. You’d have to do some real damage to something or someone before it’ll really hurt.

Scrapes, scratches, and bumps heal.

What doesn’t heal is that regret of having not tried it out of fear. Skipping out on that opportunity to talk to that interesting someone hurts longer than the embarrassment of an awkward conversation. Staying home is more regretful than having a safe night out. Not kissing that girl, that boy, or that special surf monster in your life because of worry won’t help you lead a more fulfilling life. All those are risks.

We’re often taught to avoid risk.

If you can’t do a thorough assessment during the situation, just ask, what’s the worst that’ll happen? Since you have the time to prepare right now, ask yourself: why do you prefer being an impartial observer? Is being a wallflower a more enjoyable experience? It is more rewarding to be shy, humble, and not stand in front of someone? To pass on getting a job or promotion because someone else could have it?

Concerts have helped me realize this.

From the over 50,000 photos I’ve taken, my favorite shot is still from last year’s GUITAR WOLF concert. Just before the encore, I saw an opening, and took it seconds before someone else. Did he deserve that spot? Sure, just as I did. He might have had a better camera or might have had a more self-improving moment being in that spot, but you know what? I took it and got the shot/experience.

Though it’s not always been about getting the shot, it helps.

A year of fitness has enabled me to build up physical tolerance to more easily climb around concerts venues to get more interesting shots. I might gamble away an acceptable view of the stage or feel awkward navigating my way through the crowd. The reward of a clearer view to see and hear “Forcefield Lifts Over Neon City,” what could be the theme song for an incredible videogame, makes it worth the risk.

How about the damage?

The risk of feeling the soundwaves move your clothes due to sheer force isn’t without consequence. Bring hearing protection. Don’t wear your best clothes. Experience life! There’s a reason why people like jumping on the stage. To be up there means you’ve got the spotlight on every flaw, sure, along with every success. If you nail an intricate guitar solo, you’re a hero, and if not, you’ve just gotta practice more.

Why are we so afraid of getting out there?

Why do we allow our fragile egos to dictate how we live our lives? If friends and family accept you for who you are, what does it matter if some stranger thinks you’re weird? Don’t give them the permission to affect your self-esteem! Don’t let them enter your mind palace, your house, or allow their opinions to influence you! After all, if you don’t know these people, and don’t want to, why let them bother you?

I say let anyone roll off you that’s not helpful.

There’s no need to stand up to every person that’s dancing around you in the pit. A little push can lead into a bigger push, just as a little show of defense with a tensed shoulder can go a long ways toward telling that person that they can dance all they want, except in your space. Same as someone gossiping at work: don’t engage in that negativity. It’s just a gig, after all, nothing to get worked up over.

Hear the criticism and move on.

If bands like Daikaiju were just to play to convention, they certainly wouldn’t do half of the stunts they do on a regular basis. They’d stand still throughout their entire set, which certainly wouldn’t be a terrible thing since they are excellent musicians, their concerts just wouldn’t be as physically exciting or interactive. It’d just be like any old concert that you could watch from the comfort of your own zone.

Instead, perhaps subconsciously, Daikaiju invite you out of your comfort zone.

You can smell the lighter fluid as the cymbals erupt in flames. The fire goes out with the first cymbal crash. Blast-Man doesn’t even bother setting up the drums on most stage because they’re just going to move them down into the crowd. When Secret-Man runs into the crowd, and encourages everyone to take photographs, that’s not really an experience you can duplicate watching a music video or live performance.

Or holding up Blast-Man’s drum kit in the air.

There is a certain degree of trust between band and audience that everyone can hold their own. No sudden movements to drop the drummer, right? So, to be sure, there is risk and danger in what they do. We don’t live in an innocent world. However, there’s enough of a reward for the band and audience to share in an exciting evening with fire, direct contact, and everyone getting outside their shells.

Some bands have protection- and understanably so.

Perhaps Daikaiju operate under the presumption that everyone that wants to should be able to participate and get on the stage.

I wish we could see more of that.

Sources: My life’s experiences

Quotes: None

Inspirations: 5th time seeing Daikaiju and “Turn the Page


Photos: My own. Here’s one posted on their social media.

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.