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Do an Inside Job on Yourself

*Note - This article was written about Toni Land's Power of Performance Workshop (POP). POP has since been renamed Stagework.

Reprint from Portland Songwriter Association Newsletter May 1999
by Judith Adams

It only takes an hour with Toni Land to know why you should attend the June 19th Power of Performance Workshop. Whether you are a beginning performer, a business presenter, a professional artist, or an employee mustering the courage to defend a raise, the group dynamics of POP trains people to observe and "see" performance in such a way that they can give and receive productive feed back to each other. Most workshops give you information to learn, more lists of to-dos and don'ts, but POP is a workspace. You will improve your performance skills from what you actually experience first hand, not from what you read or hear about. These seven hours will give you the tools to grow from the inside out. Here are some of the notes I made during my conversation with Toni.


This is where the fun really is Your body. Your body is the vehicle for performance. It is where sensuality lives. It is essential to be aware and comfortable in your body to be a great performer. Have you ever watched someone perform and cringed at the nervous erratic behavior that the performer exuded on stage? Overly repetitive actions such as pacing, hair twirling, hand wringing, etc. dramatically detract from one's impact on stage. But the wonderful thing is that most of these unconscious behaviors go away when the performer is actually in touch with and aware of his body.

Regarding stage fright. Believe it or not, everyone has the same things going on in their body. Some are just better than others at mastering the elevated level of energy that comes with performance are. You never want to get rid of this energy. It's what gives your performance spark. The mistake is when a performer or speaker says, "Nervousness! I have some of that, so I'm not good." The energy is gold. It's about getting it under control, not getting rid of it. And the more we master it, the more we learn to kick it in just when we need it and not days before. That's what POP will help you do if you're nervous.


Slick, phony, smooth all over, one level, no highs, no lows, no emotion. We've all watched a lounge lizard. They've performed their act so many times, they're bored with their own performance. They know what's coming. They've rehearsed every line. It's memorized. But is it inspiring for the audience or the performer? Not much any more. It's time for a new creative approach to his performance. One needs to let go of an old act even if it worked before. It's past tense. Masterful performance requires an inquiry not an answer. It's a discovery, not a solution. It takes a certain amount of courage and vigilance to actually create something new and genuine night after night on stage or day after day from the presentation platform.

If you're a presenter for your company, you have the same job as a musical performer to inspire your audience to action. Whether it's about getting them to go out and sell more software or to feel better about their work, the presenter is required to do more than report information. He or she must deliver the content impactfully. They must charge it up emotionally even after they've given the same presentation 100 times. They need to supply the spark to fire up their audience performance after performance and this only comes from a genuine, present time approach to their material. Thatıs what POP will help you do to regain the spark.


Performance, like any other skill requires lots of practice to become competent. The novice tennis player chases the ball more than hitting it. The beginning golfer and occasionally even the pro make divots in the grass rather than hitting the perfect straight shot. There is always more to learn. It's our job as performers to hold the party and allow the joy and celebration to run ramped. Becoming more competent in doing this brings more satisfaction to the performer. He or she knows the audience was touched and the artist comes back ready to do it again. The longevity of a performer is directly related to the amount of satisfaction he experiences. Burn out is what happens when the artist relies on external events rather than internal ones to generate the performance. When he is at the effect of the things that are going on outside of him, he will feel out of control and there is no sense of competence or satisfaction. In the workshop, participants learn a model for performance that helps them learn and put in correction from disastrous as well as successful experiences. They can take these skills into their life on and off stage. POP will help you gain competence and experience more satisfaction.


So youıve taken POP before. Why do it again? For years Toni went through a performance coaching class every Saturday for ten-hour stretches. Why the marathon? It could not be learned once and for all. Every class, every group of people she studied with, every session held something new. It was like peeling an onion. Each layer has a potential for a new discovery.

"This kind of work forced me to stay open with my feelings even though I had a strong tendency like so many creative people, to feel disconnected and isolated. It helped me grow out of partnership rather than the struggle so often seen with artists." - Toni Land

Repeating POP will help you to keep focused and supported in growing yourself as a performer.

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Stagework courses are led by Toni Land, performance coach and creator of "The Power of Performance" workshops.  She is a professional performer, award winning songwriter and recording artist.  

Available for individuals and groups

Stagework Courses

PO Box 169
Amboy, WA 98681
(360) 247-4475 

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