Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I had a show and no one showed up. Last night I got dangerously close to finding out. A handful of people did show up.. about 15. The room was set, ready for 150+ people to show up. If you build it, sometimes they won't come.
I was left with two options
- Be upset about having a small crowd. I could have probably found someone to lay the blame on. The college for not promoting well enough, the timing of the show coinciding with finals week, the snapchat generation for not appreciating live entertainment, ME for not being able to draw a crowd.
- Adapt the show and create an amazing and memorable night for the people that did show up. Forget about the excuses. Use that energy to have a great night.
When things aren't perfect I have to remind myself often that my job isn't to keep myself happy. I get paid to show up and make other people happy for an hour. I need to get college students to relax and forget about the stress of school work, studying, and whatever else they're going through that day. I'm lucky that I don't have to rely on ticket sales to make a living. It doesn't matter how many kids show up to my performance. I have a job to do for them. It doesn't matter if it's 1 person or 1,000.
If I give an ounce of my energy to being upset about the size of the crowd that takes away from the experience of each person that actually did show up. They should deserve even more positive attention and energy when there's a small crowd.
A small crowd just makes me feel a little uneasy sometimes. It has something to do with seeing every person as an individual rather than as a 'crowd.' It's easy to win over a crowd, but with individuals it seems like you have to get them on your side one by one.
A few minutes into the show I felt great. I had to switch my mindset from a big stage show to just hanging out with some new friends that came out to see something cool. I abandoned my normal show and some of the routines I normally do and just went with the flow of what they wanted to see.
I stopped thinking about what would make me happy (a sellout show) and focused on making my audience happy. That's my job… my only duty.
I ended up having a great time performing this show. Almost everyone stayed after the show to talk to me.
If you've ever come to one of my shows, read a blog, watched a video or been involved in ANYTHING I've done, thank you. I'm learning to appreciate you as an individual, not just a part of the crowd.