I know it’s been pretty quiet around here in the last couple of weeks. This was due to working a lot, travelling and of cource practicing and preparing for my first big gig in Oslo.
After the setlist was ready, it was time to get all those songs down. Luckily I have some lovely people in my life, who supported me with that. First of all, of course my husband. He is always there for me with lots of emotional support – but this time I knew that this was probably not enough. So I involved my professional support system in my Road to Oslo.
It was a matter of getting two things down – being able to play the songs I picked on the ukulele and making sure I sing in tune. The person for the first matter is my ukulele teacher Francois. He has been the one teaching me from the very beginning of my ukulele journey almost three years ago. And though we may not always agree on everything, I am very lucky to have such expertise in my life. Now that I’m thinking about it, he should probably be the topic for an own blog entry.
As for the singing, this seemed to me my weak point, so about half a year ago I started to take some singing lessons with Manu. Finding her and working with her helped me so much. She is also a really good cheer and every time I leave from one of her lessons, I do so happy and with new confidence in myself, my voice and my art. Again, probably a topic for another time. But those two people have a lot of influence on my playing, my singing, the arrangement of my songs and my performance.
However, practicing is still something that needs to be done just by me. (So please don’t blame them for me being lazy and not practicing enough – there’s only so much they can do).
So, practicing was of course up to me. I chose six songs plus one additional possible encore. So it was seven songs that I had to get down and be able to play and sing off book. This was my personal aspiration because I want a chance to engage with my audience – and I find that hard to do with a music stand blocking me and the view.
With seven songs, I started out with two of them. I had the open-mic at GNUF coming up and thought it would be a good trial run for the first two songs on my setlist. So I focused on just those two in the beginning. After that I had the open-mic at Austrian Ukulele Festival coming up, so I focused on the next two songs. And then it was “just” a matter of getting the final three songs down. I feel like splitting it up and not having the whole workload at once helped me a lot to focus on specific parts of each song.
To get a more realistic feel on what will expect me on stage, I tried to recreate it as good as possible at home. So I set up my microphone and ukulele and plugged them into my amp. Amp facing towards me so I can hear myself. I am not sure if my neighbors enjoyed this setup – no one complained though, so I guess it was fine. It might seem a bit excessive, but singing into a microphone and having a cabel coming out of your uke is something that’s worth getting accustomed to, so this definitely made sense for me.
I also did a livefeed once on Instagram to try my whole set before an actual audience (even though virtual) and to see how long my set would run with some talking in between. I don’t want to spoil anyone, so I’m not gonna post the video here.
So, the last couple of weeks I’ve been practicing as much as possible. I thingk I am almost ready for my first performance on main stage in less than 10 days.