Be an idiot, be stupid, completely embarrass yourself in the first ten minutes so everyone can relax.
– Rune Westberg
He is so right.
As you may know, I teach writing workshops. After a night of co-writes one of the main things that my students usually reflect upon is that at first, they were afraid to speak up if they didn't like a line or a melody. They were afraid to step on their toes or be disliked. So rather than risk ruffling feathers, they keep quiet, and of course, the song suffers.
However, I am always there to reassure them that there is no such thing as perfect and there are no dumb ideas.
During my years at WarnerChappell, I worked closely with producer/writer Jamie Houston for 9 years. Throughout that time he also tried to make it as a solo artist and with his band, Me and Buck. I went to 90% of Jamie’s gigs, critiquing and cheering him on. My favorite part of any gig was when Jamie would mess up something onstage - a flubbed lyric, a broken guitar string, a wrong chord, you name it.
Unlike a lot of artists, Jamie would turn the moment, the mistake, into a whole other experience. He would use it as an opportunity to tell another story or a joke, making the audience and himself laugh and relax a little more. Jamie connected with his audience by showing that there is strength in vulnerability, and going on in spite of it.
Do you consider vulnerability a strength or weakness? Comment below – I'd love to hear.