The term ‘apprehension’ is an understatement, irrespective of talent and experience; all DJs occasionally experience outright dread before a gig or in the vast majority of all gigs.
Being a DJ is a gift, especially if you’ve managed to turn your craft into a career. However it is not without its downsides, a foreboding sense of fear happens in the run up to a big show.
Why is it that so many DJs get so nervous before so many gigs?
Pre-gig jitters can be attributed to a wide variety of factors, including the following:
- Normal nerves – the kind of everyday stress and anxiety we all feel in the run up to something important
- Lack of experience – if it is your first ever show or you have not played live very often, you are guaranteed to be nervous
- Past experience – it could also be that one of your more recent shows did not go to plan and you are scared history will repeat itself
- A long gap – millions of DJs are dealing with nerves right now having not played a decent-sized live show in over a year
- Bad venues – something could be not to your liking about the venue, or the crowd expected to be in attendance
- Lack of confidence – of course, some simply lack the confidence in their capabilities to approach gigs with optimism
All scary enough, there is plenty that can be done to get your nerves in check.
How to Deal with Pre-Gig Apprehension
Of course, the right way to deal with nerves will be determined by what it is that is causing them. Some bouts of anxiety are easier to tackle than others it all depends on why you’re feeling stressed about the show.
Each of the following could prove helpful in getting you ready for the show in the right frame of mind:
- Prepare fully – as a rule of thumb, spend at least double the amount of time preparing as you think you need to, also prepare twice the amount of music you think you will need so you have a good backup.
- Practice your set – go through your entire set as many dozens of times as necessary, until you can literally do it one handed and with your eyes closed.
- Visit the venue – unless it’s way too far to be logistically possible, go to the venue at least a few times to familiarise yourself with its layout and vibe.
- Talk to the organiser – pen a list of questions and consult with the organiser ahead of time, in order to address any concerns you may have.
- Ask about equipment – specifically, make sure you know what DJ equipment the venue will be providing for you and what you need to bring.
- Check the other acts – get to know the other acts that you will be playing alongside with on the night, so you know what the show will look like.
- Just have fun – always remember that even the worst case scenario really isn’t that bad. If you can laugh it off and carry on, there’s no mistake too big to bounce back from.
That’s it – focus on the positives, remember why you’re in the DJ game and really…stop taking yourself too seriously!