How to be in "The Zone"

   What goes on in the mind of a performer while they are on stage looking like they are having fun as they "love on" an audience: singing with abandon and playing major 7th chords while keeping within the beat of the band?  "Gotta remember second verse starts with 'I know it's not traditional;' don't get ahead of the rhythm, dance with Lisa's percussion; can they hear me?; this PA system sucks; am I in tune?; oh, there's Terry and Wyatt - they were so sweet to come; why is that guy over there texting? it's hot in here; my guitar is so cool; yes, I love this part of the song - rock it!" And so on - HA!

     It's fun watching yourself and friends performing and going through all the mental gymnastics of juggling connection with an audience while being in  "The Zone."  Most everyone has to be in "The Zone," with some activity or another during their living. Sometimes I call it "Pressure Plays:" when you have to perform at your best under pressure - a very short period of time where you are challenged to be at your best.  Athletes, surgeons, speakers, entertainers, bull fighters, and lovers! Many people have special preparations  they follow to set things up in such a way that they maximize their performance: we've all heard about ball players who wear their special socks, and bull fighter who visit The Chapel before the fight. I, personally, find that when I am putting on my make-up and special stage clothes that I "transform" into LeeLee - my stage personae, who has no limits!

      I did a little research on this and was interested to find out that there is a high performance "zone" in between the "drone zone" and the "panic zone," where you maximize your performance. The "drone zone" is when you've done something the same way for so long you are actually a little bored and not quite at your most attentive.  The "panic zone" is an area where you are put under too much pressure for the little amount of experience you have and so you panic. The "High Performance Zone" is where you are challenged enough to be at your most attentive and conscious, and you have enough experience where there is a reasonable amount of predictability to navigate the waters. This is where you want to be when you are doing a "pressure play."

     Frankly, I believe Lee Robert and Friends was at our best at the concert on January 7th.  My husband, who is not given to hyperbole said, "You were at your "kick-butt" best."  That was like getting an Academy Award to me! It was so much fun, I've decided to do it again! 

     For those of you who missed the January 7th concert - I'm sorry to tell you, you missed "a moment in time."  It truly ROCKED! However, we were invited back for a repeat performance - for twice the time!  So you have another chance!  SAVE THE DATE of Friday, March 4th 8:00 - 9:00 (doors open at 7:15) at Fiddler's Dream Coffeehouse, 1702 E. Glenfdale Ave., Phoenix AZ - See the playbill! My goal is to open your heart, touch your heart, or just plain inspire you to be in your "high performance zone" more often in your own life! Rock on! 

 

Lee Robert
"Cowgirl Jazz"

www.leeleemusic.com
602-540-0063

 

3 comments

  • Karyn Traut
    Karyn Traut
    Great images, Lee! I love your thoughts on being in the Zone. I certainly know that from performance myself. Even when I'm the director and not on stage --Wish I could see your show. It sounds terrific. Have a great one in March! Love, Karyn

    Great images, Lee! I love your thoughts on being in the Zone. I certainly know that from performance myself. Even when I'm the director and not on stage --Wish I could see your show. It sounds terrific. Have a great one in March!
    Love,
    Karyn

  • Peggy Maone
    Peggy Maone
    Oh My Goodness Lee... You have written such a wonderful explanation of 'The Zone'... Your writing is superb..and right on! You should look into writing a book that is geared for both musicians and audience participation....Life with a musician...etc... Short stories etc... Good luck in all you do, as I know you love it as I do. Knock 'em dead! Well...I actually did 'knock one guy dead once'... Terrible... But..that's another story!! ha ha. Peggy

    Oh My Goodness Lee...
    You have written such a wonderful explanation of 'The Zone'... Your writing is superb..and right on! You should look into writing a book that is geared for both musicians and audience participation....Life with a musician...etc... Short stories etc...
    Good luck in all you do, as I know you love it as I do.
    Knock 'em dead!
    Well...I actually did 'knock one guy dead once'... Terrible... But..that's another story!! ha ha.
    Peggy

  • Barb Conitz
    Barb Conitz
    Lee, thanks for the note on being in the "zone". I may have been, once. It was March 27, 2001, and I was at the Cowboy with a group. It was my b-day, and there may have been a candle at the table, as one of the band members came and asked whose birthday it was. I said "mine". He asked what song I'd like to hear. I said "Summertime, from Porgi and Bess". He said he knew the music, not the words. I said I knew the words. I got up on stage and sang while the band played my song. I remember watching Marv and Belva dancing below me while I sang. That was the day we had the memorial service for a guy I'd dated for 10-11 months. His kids appologized for the day being "my" day, too, but I'd let it go. I sang the song for him. He's been my guardian angel ever since, I'm sure. Now I can't sing like I used to - the accident - hospitals - a tracheotomy changed my vocal chords. But I'll never forget that night! So I know what it's maybe like, on a much smaller scale, to be in the zone! Barb

    Lee, thanks for the note on being in the "zone". I may have been, once. It was March 27, 2001, and I was at the Cowboy with a group. It was my b-day, and there may have been a candle at the table, as one of the band members came and asked whose birthday it was. I said "mine". He asked what song I'd like to hear. I said "Summertime, from Porgi and Bess". He said he knew the music, not the words. I said I knew the words. I got up on stage and sang while the band played my song. I remember watching Marv and Belva dancing below me while I sang.
    That was the day we had the memorial service for a guy I'd dated for 10-11 months. His kids appologized for the day being "my" day, too, but I'd let it go. I sang the song for him. He's been my guardian angel ever since, I'm sure.
    Now I can't sing like I used to - the accident - hospitals - a tracheotomy changed my vocal chords. But I'll never forget that night!
    So I know what it's maybe like, on a much smaller scale, to be in the zone!
    Barb

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