Live performance is the ultimate Turing test. What happens on stage is what happens for the audience. There are no re-dos, no edits, no clean-it-up-in-post. Live lives.

But "live" doesn't just happen. In broad terms, a good live performer describes someone with an acute sensitivity to the world around him or herself. More specifically, a compelling live performer is somebody who knows how to rehearse.

Deeper still, rehearsal is not enough. It's possible to be well rehearsed and yet to have rehearsed poorly. Ultimately this is where skilled direction and production come to bear. Message, motivation, mechanics: you've got to have the tools to make a live event come alive for an audience.

A few days ago I went to the opening night performance for Diana Krall's 2012 world tour.  Playing at Meyerhoff Hall in Baltimore with her stunning quartet, she made it look easy. Chatting with the audience, turning casually on the piano bench to regard her fellow musicians, clearly enjoying the night, the music radiated out across the packed hall into the summer air. There's nothing like a live event.

But even though she commented several times how she wasn't sure what they might play next, and even though the group clearly left room for improvisation and on-the-fly set changes, nothing was left to chance. To say they were well rehearsed is to understate the obvious. But what they really expressed were lifetimes of craftsmanship, and deeply felt affinities for playing music.

Simple statement: I like music. But here's the question, at least for regular readers of this blog: what's the direct relevance to what we do at 1AU Global Media?

As a production facility specializing in real world images and CGI and carefully crafted storytelling, one may think the more specifically human aspects of live performance might not resonate as intensely for for us. Not true. We pride ourselves in extensive live performance backgrounds. Superb production in a traditional sense should appear effortless. That's why Krall's performance sounded so good. To the audience, it just sounded like they were playing. Playing: that is, the act of having fun. Serious things done well can still invest audiences in a sense of fun, particularly if you broaden your acceptance of the word to mean enjoyable satisfaction in what you're doing. At 1AU, we care intensely about making it look easy, even as the craft of doing so requires lifetimes of practice. More to the point, doing a job well, especially a creative one, is precisely what defines fun.

Our clients know they can turn to us for highly sophisticated media. But if you're new to 1AU, consider us next time you're planning a live demonstration, or your executive staff needs to make a public statement, or speak on camera. Preparation for a live event divides the merely enthusiastic from the pros. Sometimes the line is wide; sometimes it's narrow. But there's always a line. Cross over… and go farther.


PS -- To our regular readers, please take 20 seconds (or thereabouts) and retweet, cross post, or otherwise pass the link for this blog and it's home at 1AU onto your readers and friends! Call it karma, call it kismet: we'll just call it cool! Cool?