Advice for Novice Performers:
I used to get nervous playing in front of people, especially solo. To get over that I would try to make eye contact and say hello to individual members of the audience--it humanizes them and makes it less scary. That worked well enough, but I realized that what I do now without thinking about it works better. For that first song I just focus completely on what I am doing. I tune up, get levels, close my eyes and do my best to deliver that first song. I ignore the audience. Once I get past that first song my confidence is intact, and I am ready to engage and entertain the people!