jb wrote:Set your expectations appropriately and you'll have a better time. That even means playing those crappy coffeehouse shows-- you'll feel a lot better about them if you are only looking for that one person in the crowd that you didn't know who turned out to be paying attention. Getting a stranger to be interested in your music is a feat.
Agreed. If I can get one person who comes up to me after a show and tells me they liked what I did, success. Hell, if I get the usual one person or so who comes up to me and tells me "That was depressing" or "That song was dark", success.
Absolutely. Knowing that you have entertained at least one person makes it all worthwhile. And remember, if you get one person who was moved to come up and tell you they enjoyed it - there is a fairly good chance that there are probably another 10 or so who also likewise enjoyed it to some extent, but didn't bother making the effort to tell you (unless that person who compliments you is a complete weirdo - in which case, you probably shouldn't read too much into it.)
And the corollary to this of course is - if you are at an open mic and you find somebody to be particularly entertaining - go and tell them you enjoyed it. A genuine compliment is always appreciated (unless the person that I compliment assumes me to be a complete weirdo - in which case, they probably don't read too much into it.)
And also remember - while the random compliment is great. Don't expect them. Your audience is probably just out to have a good time and forget work. They are not there to stroke your ego. They have no obligation to be appreciative or even polite. You are invading their space essentially. For me - just hearing/seeing a small laugh or smile at the appropriate time in a song signals they picked up on a joke - which means I am not wasting my time.