Sunday, November 18, 2012

My First Elvis Performance and Thanksgiving

It has been a while since my last post.  I have been busy with several other activities.  Mainly coaching basketball for my oldest daughter, and practicing/creating my tribute to Elvis.  My first live performance was for Halloween.  It was a total bust, but I did learn a few things from the experience as follows:
  • Never hold a performance outside when it is cold and raining
  • Test the sound before you get started
  • Make certain you have enough room so you don't hurt yourself
  • Make certain your singing partner is not within arms length
Most importantly...have fun!  Some people live their whole lives watching others perform and entertain.  Yes, it can be uncomfortable performing, or learning something new.  However, there is no reason to learn how to play an instrument/skill if you no one will ever hear you play or use your new skill.

Second, remember that Vegas wasn't built overnight.  It took a long time to become the spectacular place that many people love to visit.  I haven't visited Vegas yet, but someday I will make it out there.  To become a great performer it takes practice.  How long does it take to master a new skill?  Some researchers suggest 10,000 hours.  One of the bloggers made a comment towards this 10,000 hours.  The author suggested a linear learning curve which probably isn't realistic.  This maybe a better example:

* Level 1: Novice (1,250 hours)
* Level 2: Apprentice (3,000 hours) -Working my way here!
* Level 3: Journeyman (4,500 hours)
* Level 4: Adept (6,500 hours)
* Level 5: Master (10,000 hours)
Where does this leave me on my level of mastery for performing as Elvis?  Well, we only have 24 hours in a day...and even if I could practice very day 24/7 I would only have practiced 8760 hours.  I started practicing back in June and spent on average 2 hour per day.  This would be either singing, writing, or watching Elvis, Andy Kaufman, and other Elvis Impersonators perform.  I wouldn't consider myself a good singer or dancer.  I'll probably never be able to master either of these.  I have spent about 4 years total singing either for a chorus or choir.  I've also sang several solo and duet performances.  That said...I probably have about 1800 hours of singing in my youth.  Then add the time I spent on my Elvis Impersonation...around 240 hours.  This lifts me up past novice toward the Apprentice status...or good enough to know I am not that great.  However, with technology you can make up for some of your downfalls.  I have been using the Boss VE-20 vocal pedals, and I have a soundboard. 

The music I use through SingMagic is pretty good as well.  I'm not an experienced dancer, so the time I've spent learning certain dancing moves has been minimum.

That being said...all the hard work paid off when I performed live November 16, 2012 at my workplace.  I performed for about 30 minutes, and the reactions that I anticipated came true.  Not much else you can ask for. 

Well, the title to this blog is Thanksgiving...and I know I have a lot to be thankful for.  I'm thankful for my family and friends.  I'm thankful that I have a great job, and wonderful co-workers.  If it weren't for having such great coworkers...work wouldn't be as satisfying.  Lastly, the true meaning of Thanksgiving...we are all thankful to be finished with this past presidential cycle.  For those who live in a swing state...wow it just gets worse each time around.

I wish everyone a great Thanksgiving!  Till next time!

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