JASON A. FERRIS
by on April 11, 2022
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Whether you realize it or not, the audience is a reflection of us onstage.


When you’re performing or leading worship and you look out at the people, what do you see? Are they fully present with you? Are they singing their hearts out? Or does there seem to be a disconnect somewhere?

In one of my very first posts, I talked about taking a look in a mirror and examining our onstage performance. I shared how our production company, BNY, took on more live streaming and pre-recorded audio/video projects at the beginning of the COIVD-19 Pandemic. At that time, many churches would record their Sunday services during the week and send us their A/V files to be edited and mixed. During this time, I heard many worship team members mention that they didn’t like how they looked on camera. 

Today, I want to talk about another kind of mirror effect. Instead of looking in a mirror and seeing our own reflection, whether you realize it or not, the audience is a reflection of us onstage. 

Not too long ago, my wife Skylar (Kaylyn) and I teamed up with a church worship team for their Sunday morning worship service. It was my third time playing drums with this particular church and her first time being invited to sing and play guitar along side me. It was special as it was the first time in a few years since we’ve played music together. 

After rehearsal, we got into a conversation with the worship leader about leading the congregation by example. Skylar shared how she always noticed that the audience would mirror what she did when she was performing. Whenever she would smile while singing, the room would light up right back at her. It’s a simple, yet powerful way to connect with people. 

Following that service, many different ones in the congregation came up and thanked us for blessing them with our gifts and complimented our playing. I share this not to boast in any way, but I would receive comments like, “I loved watching you play. I could see the joy in you.” Several elderly church members came up and made comments on how “loud I played.” I would respond saying that I hope it wasn’t too loud and they all said, “no it was perfect. We loved it.” The thing is, I wasn’t playing very loud at all, but I knew exactly what they meant by those comments.

It took me YEARS to figure it out, but I can now say I have mastered the art of visually playing the drums ‘loudly’ by playing with the same passion, energy and expressions while playing the very softest I can audibly for any size room. But like anything, it was a journey for me to get there. A lot of humbling and some embarrassing moments to learn from, but I put in the work to be a good performer and communicator from the stage.

I encourage any artist and worship team I work with to record their rehearsals as it’s a great way to learn. Doing so helped me to develop my personal onstage presence. Many clients I partner with will send me their videos to watch and critique and we’ll schedule a video call to breakdown their performance and review it together, step-by-step. 

I hope this can serve as a reminder for us all to examine ourselves first so we can effectively communicate and lead others. If you’ve ever traveled on a commercial airline, you probably have heard the flight attendant’s instructions that in the event of the cabin losing air pressure and oxygen is needed, to put your mask on first before assisting others.

Let’s do our part to examine ourselves so we can strive to be a good reflection to others from our places of leadership onstage.

 

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ChiaChatter (Sherry) Peters
While we didn't have easily attainable video recording devices back then, in college I was always taught to spend a large portion of my practice time in front of a mirror, both in singing and in conducting. The communication that you talk about is a double-mirror effect when working with choirs (way... View More
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April 11, 2022
JASON A. FERRIS
that’s so awesome! I absolutely love that. Thanks for sharing! 😊
April 12, 2022