Performance Guidelines by Atkins’ World


Ralph Atkins copyright May 2012 Atkins’ World

Per request:  Stage performance Guidelines; I apologize in advance for its length; I had little time to shorten it.

Live Performance Guidelines   Atkins’ World

Questions you should ask yourself!

1)   Are the people here to see me perform or is this a popular meeting spot of which I happen to be the entertainment?

2)   Do I entertain or am I background Music? (More like having a TV set that’s on and now and then people look up to watch).

3)   Do I get the attention of the audience in the back of the venue?

4)   Do the people in the audience know my name? (Ask several people in the audience).

5)    Are my performances solid? (Giving a professional performance under any circumstance).

6)   Do I have a unique performance? (A performance that cannot be substituted with a similar act.)

7)    Do I rush my performances?

8)   When I perform do I look; relax,  loose, stiff, nervous or structured?

9)    Do I have an artistic identity when performing, a stage character? (A media identity the audience can identify with). Michael had the Hat,  Glove, Short pants…..

10)  Have I reached that level where my attire, music, lights and props compliments me and my performance?

11)   Does my attire compliment every performance?

12)   Do I request the stage be set-up with my props to compliment my performance?

13)   What do I think of my best performance (Is it star quality or just entertainment)?

14)   What do I think are my strongest and weakest points when performing? (Voice, appearance, humor, props).

15)   Do you have a Confidant? Someone you trust who has marketing and entertainment experience?  (You need someone who can offer you sound advice).

*Take each question above and write out your answer, then go over each answer with your Confidant


Star quality entertainment, points to remember. Here isa list of guidelines for achieving recognition for your performance.                           Ralph Atkins Copyright Feb 2012

A)   Entertain your audience not yourself!

B)   Maintain the interest of the audience, before, during, and after each performance.

C)   Motivate your audience to a level of being impatient. Your performance should be equivalent to watching a suspense film (wondering what’s coming next).

D)   Audiences should remember your name and performance.

E)   An exceptional performer appeals to the young and old of both sexes.

F)    Practice. Practice. Practice creates star quality performances however when performing on stage it should look and feel like a natural occurrence (Flows).

G)    A planned performance insures direction, continuity, creative control, and the ability to evaluate each segment. Divide your performance into time segments. (I use hourly events, every hour I changed the tempo of my shows.) Create a beginning, middle and end, this method avoids stagnation.

H)  If a member of the band is doing a solo, if you are not contributing to his/her performance, Get Off The Stage!

I)     Stage props should enhance performances not hinder it. If a prop distracts from a performance remove it or cover it up.

J)    The sound system should be clear. Always test your voice with the sound equipment before performing. A weak sounding voice; the band should play a little louder than usual. A great sounding voice; the band should play lower so the audience can hear what a great voice sounds like.

K)    When talking to your audience make certain the microphone you’re using is clear and the audience can hear and understand what you are saying. If the audience doesn’t understand you DO NOT TALK unless it is part of your act.

L)     If you are performing before a foreign audience, learn a few of the local phrases and use simple English when communicating. Remember, most of the foreign audiences do not understand you!

                                              “They are here, for the atmosphere” © AW 2012


M)   One segment of your performance should have a melody of events, a minimum of fifteen minutes of continuous lights, music and action (one song after another).

N)    A well rounded performance should have segments that are happy / sad / good /bad/ in and out. You should be trying to touch every emotion of your audiences.

O)   On your entertainment journey, take your audience with you. Audience participation helps however do not allow them to hijack your show.  Example: Asking someone to come on stage is dangerous, many do not want to leave, dancers and rappers are noted for this. I recall having rappers perform, after which I had a time retrieving the microphones and getting them off the stage in a professional manner.

Question: How do you remove someone from the stage without disrupting the   tempo (groove) of your performance?

P)   The audience should identify with you. Show the character you have created before each performance. Start your performance as if it is a grand opening. You will know when you are successful, your final set when leaving the stage you take your atmosphere (groove) with you.

Q)  Once your talent and character has been established, your following will help promote you. You should be able to generate incomes from concerts, music CD’s, ‘T’ shirts, posters and possibly local commercials. With name recognition you should be collecting monies from a variety of venues and not only from your stage performance.

R)  Try new ideas and always test them in a small venue before a live audience.

S)   Have one arrangement that encompass your entire performance, I call it a promo-trailer. Like a movie trailer. Your promo-trailer should be an enticement to catch new fans and potential gigs. Exploit your promo-trailer when you are ask to perform one set or at guest appearances.

T)    ** entertainers should be rewarded for their contributions to a performance and not be treated as an employee of the entertainment industry of which they receive minimum wage (creative talent doesn’t equate to Minimum wage).

Act like a star, you are treated as a star!           Ralph Atkins Copyright 20012 AW AtkinsWorld © 72 Designs.            


Entertainment; is an activity designed to give people a break from life’s journey, © Aug 2011 AW.                                                Ralph Atkins Copyright Feb 2012

A Great Entertainer:  someone who entertains others and not themselves. AW 2009

1)    An audience should be compelled to give their full attention to your performance for fear if distracted they might miss something. It should be like watching a professional boxing match.

2)    “We see ourselves in the eyes of others” (PhD. Mead Psychologist). Meaning, you cannot truly comprehend your performance without the feedback from others.

3)    Know your talent:  You should recognize your strength and weakness, ask someone with entertainment experience their opinion of your performance.

4)    The problem with most entertainers; they only want to hear how good they are and it takes a professional to point out those areas that needs improvement.


1)    There are many great voices competing for the Spot Light. If you are singing popular songs try adding something different and original to your performance, your goal should be to distant yourself from the contending talent.

Simply stated; sounding like an original artist will get you work however most likely you will not be able to separate yourself from other impersonators. Also having a studio voice is great in the studio, ascending a stage the audience expects more.

If you are unable to stir your audience you are virtually a recording (background entertainment).

Many successful Studio-Artists have problems performing live on stage. Their performance looks and feel “Canned” unnatural. They are compelled to hire a talent director to help with their stage presentation.

The Feedback from an Entertainment Director should mirror your entire performance thereby helping you experience what the audience sees and feels. The object of this exercise is to create opportunities for the audience to get to know the Artist (you); additionally it helps improve your overall presentation.

If your primary success comes from studio work, usually celebrity dollars are not generated from concerts, “T” shirts, hats or caps. Exposure to the general public, name recognition generates consumer Dollars.         Ralph Atkins copyright 2012 Atkins’ World


Having the complete package is rare.

                                                                        Ralph Atkins Copyright Feb 2012 

The Complete package consists of knowing your market, writing great lyrics and setting the lyrics to complimentary music. Creating a stage character that attracts attention,  then conjuring up a must see stage performance to get the media talking thereby creating a demand for  DVD’s,  posters, T shirts, hats, key-chains and the likes. It’s seldom accomplished by one person. Only one entertainer comes to mind.

Assembling the complete package:

a)     Perfect your art by entertaining the audience not yourself.

b)    Professional support is expensive and if you don’t have the means to hire then look for beginners in the entertainment field,(writers, photographs, designers, dancers) this union will enhance both your careers and it’s free.

1)     After ever performance acknowledge those who have made a contribution to your success. This is the payment they expect!  Name recognition.

c)     Recognizing and employing talent that can enhance your performance.

d)    Never stop investing and incorporating new creative ideas.

e)     Do not feel threaten when performing with other artist. Each artist should have their own style.

f)      Use your “prop-trailer” for guest appearance.

g)     Know your weaknesses and change accordingly.

h)    Know your worth and get paid accordingly.

i)      Remember you are a performer and people are always observing you, Do Not exhibit Arrogance. Act like a star by enjoying the company of admirers (fans) and you will be treated according. Don’t forget they are paying your bills.

Live performances should be broken down into segments. Each segment should change the visual and audio tempo of the performance to avoid stagnation.

Friends have asked me to appraise their performances which prompt this Performance guide.    Ralph Atkins, Copyright May 2012  :   Atkins’ World Designs and promotions   :


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  • Butch Williams

    I found a lot of your suggestions very useful and some of the things I have already figured out myself the hard way. I will implement the ones I did not already consider. For instance, I need to remember that I am always giving a performance, whether or not I am onstage. As a known performer, I am always under the scrutiny of the public. I have to always be aware of my surroundings because you never know who is watching. I appreciate the fact that you have a keen eye and a profound understanding of live performances. I want to pick your brain some more.