When Marvin Gaye joined Motown, he played to his strengths. He just wanted to work in the studio. He hated touring and felt certain he lacked the charisma and other talents that made some musicians great on stage. That didn’t really fit with the label’s strengths and it was difficult for him to gain a foothold.
In 1962, Berry Gordy sent Gaye on tour with other Motown acts. While Gaye wasn’t a natural performer, he was competitive. Tour managers realized that something extraordinary happened when they performed Little Stevie Wonder just before Gaye. Wonder was a crowd pleaser, a magician at wowing fans. After a few performances, Gaye realized that if he was going to keep performing, he would have to improve his stage skills significantly.
Two days after the tour ended, Gaye was in the studio recording his first Top 40 hit. He became known for both his live performances and his music.
His charisma was a skill, not something he was born with.
It’s up to us if we want it.