The weather’s getting warmer.  Have you noticed all the fun you can have in your community during the warmer months?  All across the country, concerts, festivals, street fairs, will be filling the air with music and community.
It is important for all of us to get out and enjoy being entertained for the sheer joy of it. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone, meeting new people, enjoying the surroundings you normally take for granted, trying different ethnic foods and music can do wonders for your perspective.
But, if your business is pop culture, media or entertainment (and so many other industries for that matter), it is your responsibility to be out among the public – the people who buy your products and services; those who buy via the ‘net, or patiently wait in line, jam telephone order lines, and those who attend live performances – to truly know what is going on with your audience, your customers, your community!
Yes, when you’re running a growing business, or just plain working hard, it is easy to become complacent and at least partially dependent on consultants for opinions and advice on what “the people” are enjoying and talking about.  Is an artist as good as all the hype? Is this conductor as much showman as tyrant? Is that style the cutting edge of a trend?  Do you depend on others to know what is going on out there in the real world, or are you an active participant and active observer?
You owe it to your self, your customers, and your audiences to be inspired by an artist’s performance; to allow yourself exposure to new ideas and new talent, and to positively influence the way you do your own business.  If you are in the media or entertainment, or anything industry that’s trying to reach a mass market/audience, you don’t go to performances just to see what or who is on stage.  No matter what business you are in, observing the way an audience responds to the stimuli at any kind of public event can provide insights into fashion, food, interpersonal relations, marketing, graphics, theater, politics, technology – not just what’s on the stage!
This time of year is an especially good time to see any kind of live performance. It doesn’t matter if you enjoy full-blown stage productions, stand-up comedy, little theater, opera, ballet, chamber music or loud arena rock ‘n’ roll; indoors or out, whether you pay top dollar for the best seats or attend free local and municipal events, sit on the grass or on lawn chairs. The choices are there, and the distraction would probably do you good.
A pleasant distraction from your regular routine will do wonders for reducing that built-up stress. It has been documented that singing and humming along to familiar melodies can produce smiles that often last for hours after the performance ends, particularly when you surprise yourself by remembering most of the words.
At public events you will interact with others from outside your usual sphere, yet with whom you share a common interest. Feeling good becomes infectious when you are part of a crowd who are also enjoying themselves.  And it’s not a bad time to network either!  Sharing a similar experience in a crowd makes it easy to strike up conversations with strangers.  Sure, there may be too much going on to get into deep discussions (and you are there to enjoy yourself, not concentrate on business!), but brief introductions and conversations, the passing of business cards or contact information, can lead to more extensive and productive interactions at a later time and place.
You don’t need a medical degree to recognize the feelings you get when you are enjoying yourself. It doesn’t matter if you know about the release of the endorphins that stimulate your brain, make your body feel good, help fight off infections and increase blood flow. But you do know when you’re having a really good time.
When a performer from any discipline is giving his or her all from the stage, even when the performance is less than stellar, the energy, the emotion, the conviction of the performer can be felt by the audience. And, unless it was a real stinker, or you’ve just seen and heard two hours of sad dirges – to each their own! – odds are good that you’ve had an experience that took you “away” and provided you with possibly a very deep, personal experience.
Good entertainment is available to all of us, in big cities and small towns. It can take you places you’ve never been and bring you back to places you’ve long forgotten. It can take you far away and it can bring you home.
Just give yourself the chance to be temporarily transported, physically, emotionally and even psychologically so that your daily routine, worries, your tensions and your cares can be safely ignored if only for a little while. Allow yourself to be filled with new inspiration and possibilities that will impact your own performance. Live entertainment really is good for you.
You are hereby encouraged to go out and have fun! Cheers!!

By Hank

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