how making mistakes can accelerate learning

How Making Mistakes Can Accelerate Learning

A few months ago, I decided to take a page out of Indiana Jones's playbook, and embarked on a quest. Not for the holy grail, or some noble intellectual pursuit... But for the best nachos in my neighborhood. Yep. Every Saturday evening, for the last couple months, I've ordered nachos from a different place. Chili nachos. Chicken ranchero nachos. Nachos texanos. Nachos el grande deluxe. But every weekend, I'm faced with a dilemma. Do I order the nachos I've enjoyed the most so far (chicken…


how to get an audience

The Role of Emotions in Building an Audience

Have you ever had the experience of walking out on stage, and seeing a hall packed with happy excited faces? And perhaps also the experience of walking out on stage, and seeing only a smattering of live humans engulfed by a sea of empty seats? Sure, playing to a full house can be a little nerve-wracking, but playing for an empty hall, after all the work you put into preparing for a performance? Oof. That can be pretty demoralizing. So how do you get people to come to your next performance?


What Leads to Better Performances: Telling Yourself to Calm Down? Or Get Excited?

I think there are two types of people in the world.  Roller coaster people. And non-roller coaster people.  Roller coaster people are the ones with their hands in the air, smiles on their face, who scream, woo-hoo, and look excited and happy after the ride. Non-roller coaster people (like me) are the ones who apply a death grip to the seat belt/bar/anything for dear life, have fear in their eyes, try valiantly to calm themselves down and avoid freaking out, and look relieved when the ride is…


the problem with not thinking on stage

Want to Perform Better Under Pressure? Why Autopilot May Not Be the Answer.

I visited Cambodia over the holidays, where my wife and kids have been spending the year. The kids are starting to pick up the local language (super cute), and I found it really remarkable how un-self-conscious they were about trying new words and talking to people. It seems like kids don't worry if they are mispronouncing words, or using them incorrectly. Me, on the other hand, I'm much more sensitive to whether I'm saying things right. Case in point, we went to a Japanese restaurant, and my…