We have all heard, to be good at anything you need to practice, but practicing and performing are two different things. Take a movie star and place them in a Broadway stage show, where there are no second takes. They must adapt, cover up, and make corrections on the fly.
This is one reason why I like performing in front of an audience as much as possible; it ensures my stage skills stay sharp. Well known comedians have for decades been sneaking into comedy clubs trying out new material, and keeping connected with the audience. The risk factor is low, but the information gained is priceless.
Restaurant entertaining is a forgiving venue to practice new designs and jokes, while receiving instant feedback. For me it is not about money or marketing opportunity. It’s about having a place to perform each week.
I have seen too many balloon entertainers practicing for hours; learning each twirl and twist, just to bomb when working with an audience. If you want to get better, you need to perform on a regular basis.
Over the winter, I joined Toastmasters. Toastmasters is an organization where an individual goes to learn the art of speaking in public. It’s the gymnasium for speakers to practice, learn, and improve. Toastmasters is another opportunity for me to improve verbal skills, timing, and body movements, all which enhance a stage act.
If you are looking to make a career of entertaining, you need to find venues to perform. Practicing at home or in a back room is not enough. Performing is where you really learn the skill of entertaining.
This is my performance at a Toastmasters meeting – The Ice Breaker.