Sofa or Magic Carpet? Where Do You Meet Your Fans?

Sofa or Magic Carpet? Where Do You Meet Your Fans?

Hello Friends,

Last week, I took a hard stance against greasy deals and explored the path to great contracts.
This week, I need to leave the paper and get back to the people...😌


SOFA OR MAGIC CARPET? Where are you meeting your fans?

One of the lovely artists I manage has been booked for a virtual tour! This is both an exciting and a somewhat strange thing to be working on as we advance with presenters in Ontario to structure the individual shows and connect with audiences. A "pre-recorded performance", I'm discovering, can take on so many formats: a live streamed show as part of a winter festival line-up, a Zoom evening with extra real-time greetings, a show accessed via a private link, etc. It's fun to figure out!

Press relations and promotion are headed by the presenter organization, and we'd Zoomed in to discuss the press release. The title they had chosen was along the lines of "Invite Kelly into your living room, and enjoy a night of music..."

"Is that what this is about?" I asked. It didn't feel quite right. "I mean, is this about inviting the artist to come into your home, sit on your sofa and be part of your family? Or is it about the artist taking the listener OUT of their home, inviting them to travel, on a magic flying carpet, for example??"

They stared at me a second before diving into a most engaging discussion about what it is we're all trying to achieve when we connect with fans online! The exchange we had allowed us to dig deeper on why they had chosen this specific artist for their network of presenters (Some of you will recognize my positioning triangle: Why you? Why this artist? Why now?) They seemed to agree that her journey and blended musical style would intrigue these new audiences who would experience this show as a marvellous escape, a trip to new places, a way of meeting new people and learning new ways.

So I suggested we switch the title to something in the vein of: "Let Kelly take you with her on this musical journey through countries and cultures that will feel like home" (it sounds better in French! 😉 But this should illustrate how different the message is!)

I've been thinking about that conversation these past few days.

With restrictions easing somewhat in Winnipeg, we've been allowed to get video productions off the ground. As my favourite colleague Joel has been focusing on coordinating tech crews and artists, I've been diving deeper into the artistic direction of a few pre-recorded shows we're producing as a team.

So much of what we see online mimics television where the viewers become voyeurs - looking in, but not necessarily feeling seen or acknowledged. I look at what Influencers and online trainers are doing on YouTube, for example, and the vibe is more connected and individualized (they look at you in the eyes and they speak to one rather than many). My very personal belief is that online shows should sit somewhere between the two, leaning towards the YouTubers rather than televised online shows.

I believe that with online shows, we have an opportunity to create something that allows us as artists to not only entertain but engage with sincerity and meaning.

Here are two things to consider in offering online shows:

  • What is your initial relationship with those who are watching?
    Are these audiences new for you? Or rather, are these your friends? Fans you've had deep connections with for years? What are they looking for in your performance? Is it the music itself? Your message? Your personality?...

    We might be a little wary of inviting a stranger into our home. But in times when we're sitting safe at home behind a screen, the discovery of a new person, new environment, new ideas and new sounds can be a welcome distraction and give life to our day! Our solitude is "peopled" in a way that expands our world... So that the artist, the stranger, then becomes familiar to us, becomes a friend.

    And when we're playing for people we know, it's interesting to consider that in their minds, we might very well be sitting on their sofa! We pierce through the screen, what I've called the "fifth wall", so that our space is shared. That too, brings great comfort!

  • Does your "invitation" reflect your "intention"?
    As artists, you'll often hear that you need to set your intention for your project, show, etc. This helps you articulate your purpose in a thoughtful, deliberate way, within the scope of the experience you're offering. It's quite a personal and private process, contrary to the "invitation" which is, well, exactly what it sounds like! It's the way you prepare your audience for what is ahead so that their expectations are in line with the show they'll be experiencing. That "invitation" is public - visible in the title of a press release, a show description, a social media plug, etc.


My invitation to you is to consider your upcoming "virtual" shows if you have any in the works.

    ☑︎ Are these shows pre-recorded or streamed live?
    ☑︎ Think about who'll be listening in the audience and how well they know you.
    ☑︎ Will you be singing to an audience of one or of many? (The chats in facebook live shows can really create a feeling of community, whilst a "concert-on-demand format is often watched alone)
    ☑︎ Set your intention for the show - what you want from it for yourself and for others.
    ☑︎ Prepare your invitation, with care and thought so that you set yourself and your audience up for a great experience!

xo Nat

Nathalie Kleinschmit

Article by Nathalie Kleinschmit

Published 09 Feb 2021