Music legend Bruce Springsteen sat for an amazing interview by the New York Times’ Jon Pareles as he prepared to begin his Broadway show “Springsteen on Broadway.” As he spoke, he added some perspective to an idea that we often tell EMS clients: Treat every presentation as if it’s opening night.
This week, our friend Bruce Springsteen kicks off what he calls “his first real job” as he begins preview performances of his new one-man show, Springsteen on Broadway. Five nights per week, and running through next February, The Boss will perform at the Walter Kerr Theater in New York City. His set? Nothing more than a piano, a collection of guitars, and 940 of his close personal friends.
The idea for this new show, apparently, came from a special concert that Springsteen gave to members of President Obama’s White House staff this past January, just before the new administration took over. In a lengthy interview with Jon Pareles of the New York Times, Springsteen explained how he carefully put together a set list for that show to span his entire musical career. In between, he told personal and biographical stories. That’s the crux of the structure he’ll be using for his Broadway show.
It’s worth reading the entire interview, in part for the original photography and the collection of Springsteen’s wisdom, and in part because Bruce gives his take on a message we blogged about just recently: treat each performance as if it’s opening night. Here’s exactly what he had to say on the subject:
“I’ve played ‘Born to Run’ many, many times. I’m sure if we went on the internet we could find out how many. (laughs) But the key is, you have to approach it not as a repetition but as a renewal. And to do that your spirit has got to be 100 percent present. But it’s a new audience every night. There’s new faces, there’s new opportunities. Those songs have been very good to me over the years, and in return I try to be good to them. So you have a chance of renewing the emotion and the spirit in that music on a nightly basis. That’s the place I work to get to every night when I’m onstage. I think that if the foundation of what you’ve built is built well, you’ll be able to inhabit it on a nightly basis and your audience will come in and it will feel like they’re seeing it for the first time. (laughs) That’s my plan, anyway.”
Do you have a presentation coming up soon? Try like The Boss to find that spirit and energy so that each of your audiences gets that unique experience, whether you’re telling a story, sharing an idea or singing your favorite song.