So, Bruce is on Broadway … and has received great reviews for what he calls his first real job, Springsteen on Broadway.
But this blog isn’t about his music. It’s about his philosophy… a philosophy worthy of all our consideration, and directly applicable to news delivery.
The book explains that you’ve always been a musician. You never really had a 9-to-5 job. But “Springsteen on Broadway” is five nights a week for five months. It’s steady work.
That’s a real job. This is my first real job, I think (laughs). That’s the one thing I’m going into with a certain sense of faith. I go, well, I’m not using myself so totally physically on a nightly basis. And I’m not using my voice — you know, you’re not screaming. But the mental energy that it takes to do it is the same. People come to see you be completely, completely present. Any time you’re trying to do that, it takes a lot of energy.
You say the show and stories are locked in — won’t that become repetitive for you?
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.
Bruce is Bruce because he honors each audience, each day, each song. When you think about the long-term loyalty Bruce has garnered from his fans, it’s no surprise that he has been diligent about earning it.
Being present – exercising singular focus – is what generates good news delivery, too. For most anchors and reporters, it comes naturally for the really big stories. But it’s difficult to achieve and maintain during the rigors of the daily newscasts, especially as anchors sit in the chair for longer stretches with a considerable amount of repeated stories.
Viewers expect and deserve the best each day, each story, each opportunity to connect and engage. It takes diligence. The tools are simple – pre-show thoughtful preparation, and during show listening and engagement. They are simple, but they take energy. They also get results.
It’s worked out pretty well for the Boss.