Let's Do it...Well!
I recently had the opportunity to attend a Spoken Word presentation at Da' Poetry Lounge and one of the artists did a performance that I will never forget. I didn't agree with his content, what he stood for or believed, but I had the greatest respect for his boldness. He made no apologies for who he was, and how he saw the world, and he had everyone's attention. There was complete silence in the room because of his uncomprising stance and strong presence that shook the theatre. We could have all gone home after that! Even when he left the stage, he left in so much power that the next performer had to admit that he was a hard act to follow, and had to collect himself before he started his poem.
We should never make excuses when we present a piece of work to an audience, whether it is in song, dance, music or words. Making statements like "Please bear with me while I attempt this song", or describing the challenges you had before coming onstage gives people an excuse not to listen to you. Think of this: If you went to someone's home for dinner, and they told you that the dish they prepared really wasn't that good, would you really want to eat it? You might try it just to be polite, but in the back of your mind you would probably be wondering exactly what happened in the kitchen before you arrived and wouldn't want to eat much of it.
In Poetri Smith's Spoken Funk Workshop, he always says: "No excuses, no red flags, and no holding back". A red flag is calling attention to a mistake. If you are a soloist and forget a line, a step or part of a song, make something up! If you are really prepared and something goes wrong (with the music, the sound system or something completely out of your control) the audience will never know. Holding back deprives you and your audience of whatever experience you were supposed to have together when you went before them. As ministers of God, we are to present our best (just as He did), and not just do something for form or fashion. So, now that we know what to do, let's do it...well!