A performer is an entertainer like an actor, musician, dancer, or singer that creatively expresses their artistic talent to an audience. They perform before live audiences and/or for television and film In the cut-throat performing arts world, musicians, singers, dancers, actors, and others find themselves constantly trying to outshine the competition and rise to the top. The most successful in the performing arts industry should have:
  • Creativity: A great performing artist is very creative and can come up with ideas that help make performances more interesting, engaging, and exciting.
  • Enthusiasm: A great performing artist has a great sense of enthusiasm for their craft. They support their peers and the industry as a whole and enjoy the work they do. Their passion shows in their work.
  • Flexibility: A great performing artist must be very flexible, as work in the arts can be intermittent and schedules can vary widely.
  • High Self-Esteem: A great performing artist has excellent self-esteem and does not let rejection and poor reviews affect personal perspective or motivation.
  • Networking Skills: A great performing artist has excellent communication and networking skills. Many of the best jobs in the industry are found through industry connections, and networking skills can be vital to success.
  • Perseverance: A great performing artist should be very persevering and seek out job opportunities continually, even in the face of inevitable rejection.
  • Physical Staminay: A great performing artist has good physical stamina and can endure long periods of standing, dancing, singing, or other physically taxing activities.
  • Presentation Skills: A great performing artist has excellent presentation skills and can present themselves professionally in auditions and interviews, and pleasingly to audiences.
  • Self-Discipline: A great performing artist should have excellent self-discipline and be able to self-direct practice time and other development exercises..
  • Talent: A great performing artist should have natural talent in their chosen craft. They should have genuine interest in the craft that propels them to hone their talent and improve in performance.

What makes a performer great? The question is very difficult to tackle head-on because not only is the answer totally subjective, but we should agree that there are many different types of wonderful performers. Each one has carefully honed his or her personal brand of charm and appeal, which lets the artist connect with the audience in a way that's unique. When examining common themes shared by great onstage performers, that's the best place to start: the message the performer sends.

Your Delivery and Personality

The relationship between what's being said and how it's being said is an intriguing one. These are the two most basic elements of what the audience perceives and what they go home talking about. An atypical pairing of these elements, done tastefully, can often yield very entertaining results.

Great performers carry a reputation – the one that got them to where they are – but how did they build that reputation? By conveying their message clearly and effectively. They manifest some concept, or even bring to life some fantasy, for the enjoyment of the crowd. And not just that: they make it look easy. Some of these performers personify the character they portray onstage their whole lives. If they don't, and it's just an act for the crowd, they have to do it flawlessly as soon as they get onstage, not letting a single crack show in the character.

As far as true-blue characters go, I can't help but think of one of my favorite rock 'n' roll icons, Lemmy Kilmister. Few performers were louder than Lemmy, hence the popular slogan for his band, Motorhead, "Everything louder than everything else." The legend of Lemmy relays that his onstage, hard-as-nails persona was no facade. This was a man who drank a bottle of Jack Daniels every day and didn't process the words "turn down a little" until the day he died.

On the other end of the spectrum was the king of shock rock, Alice Cooper. Cooper was a highly controversial artist of his time, bringing the hatchet down on the era of peace and love and scaring the pants off anyone over 40. His devilish antics made him a household name, but in reality, Cooper was (and still is) a down-to-earth, well-mannered man, operating totally different than Lemmy.

While a music fan may assert that these two icons were in different leagues based on the legitimacy of their legacy, they both reached stardom because of the clear message they presented and, today, stand as clear examples of two opposite ways to go about your career.