So you've chosen an image. You're decked out from head to toe in a carefully-manicured fashion statement to express the persona you want to project. But while you're peering in the mirror, checking out your looks from the outside, now look if you've checked inside.
Image is crucial in the music marketplace. It gets you gigs, fans, dollars. Without it, you're just another indie wannabe. But do you know what's going on in that private space of yours on the inside? That place where your hopes and dreams are brewing, loves and fears bubble, and life story lives? Do you take time to look at that stuff? If not, you should.
I once had a friend who sang back-up vocals for a talented musician in a local band. One memorable gig was on a snowy evening where the audience consisted of two friends of the band, the girlfriend of the leading singer-guitarist, the soundman, and me. I couldn't figure out why the lead guitarist wasn't attracting larger crowds. Okay, blame it on the snow. His songs were well-written and even compelling, his guitar playing admirable. Now after some reflection, I remember that his vocal expression, as well as the voice of the lyrics themselves, were one-dimensional. It was as if he hadn't yet explored the tremendously rich landscape of personality and experience lying underneath the monotone of image he was trying to get across. Perhaps he would have projected a more colorful and multi-dimensional image on the outside if he had done the work of honest self-introspection and self-discovery on the inside topped with a heavy dose of self-appreciation as well. Think of some singers that have earned your admiration, and chances are they really know themselves inside-out.
A singer is an actor and a storyteller. Give over that story with your entire mind, body, and spirit. Understanding your own story will allow you to give yourself over in the truest sense to your audience. And it will be a more meaningful experience for you as well.
With blessings for your personal transformation,