So, it's been a few days since I last posted. To try and catch you up on all that has been going on is an impossibility at this point. However, there are some things that I really want to share with you. There is so much going on!
MY DEBUT AT THE COMMODORE
I recently played at a songwriter's night for the first time in a long time. I've played for larger groups of people over the last several years, but this was different. I played at The Commodore, which houses a well-known songwriter's night several times per week. I found out, right as I was walking on to the stage that it was a "one and done." If the lady who runs the show thinks you're a good songwriter, she books you into the regular rotation. If she doesn't think you have what it takes, you don't get booked. There were 2 other guys on stage with me, and they played before I did. They were both good songwriters, and each with a unique sound to his voice. They were a totally different style than I, but they were both high quality musicians. I started to sing my song and realized right away that I had no vocal (or very little) coming out of the monitor. My brain went into overdrive, and my ears immediately scrambled to find the sound in the house. The moment got faster, and it felt like every second was rushing at me, hitting me full-on. My vision narrowed, and I could feel the heat building in my face and ears. I was blowing it. I was over-singing, picking up the pace of the song as I played, playing faster with every strum of the guitar. Somewhere in there I thought, "let me just finish, so I can be done with it." I finished the song, and I felt like the Wonders ("Oneders" pronounced: Oh-Needers) on That Thing You Do. It was unplug my guitar and get off the stage. I had this voice going off in my head, saying, "you bombed", "the only reason they clapped was because they were being nice," and "well, you just blew it."
For those of you who know me well, you know I'm pretty even keel and positive, but the voice in my head was screaming its head off, at me. I got to the side of the stage, and I was tempted to put my guitar away and leave. But I MADE myself stay. I walked back to my seat at the table I was sitting, and watched the rest of the show. Afterward, I even dared to meet some fellow writers, who "probably don't want to write with me after that". "You have a great voice" was obviously a cover for, "you sucked eggs." That voice! I met a couple of writers and we exchanged info. Then, I picked up my guitar and headed for the lady who oversees the show. I thought it only polite to thank her for having me, and to potentially ask for another opportunity... and that's when it happened. She shook my hand, told me I did a great job, then handed me her card. She said, "I'm booking for May now, so if you want to play then, email me or call me." Say what? I "passed"! Relieved, I walked out, excited and thankful to be able to play that venue and show again. In fact, I have already secured a date to play in May, where I'll be part of the rotation, and will play 3 songs.
STAYING IN ACTION
As an artist, not many things are more intimate than to share your creation with people...with only your voice and a guitar. I've played with a band behind me in front of larger groups, even in the last year, but I haven't been in this type of setting in a long time, and I felt it. To say I was rusty is an understatement. A good friend of mine, who is a very talented Broadway actor, told me, "there is a difference in bombing (which was my description to him of how I did) and not doing as well as you hoped." Touché. However, it gave me a real picture of where I am right now, and it also gave me an understanding of the work that I need to do to be in top form. I am committed to doing the work that I need to do! I know that one of the things that's missing for me to be in top form is performing consistently. I've spent my 10,000 hours, but I've been on a bit of a hiatus, so I need to build those hours and be in front of audiences and crowds of all sizes to get my form back to where I want it. So, I'm scheduling and hitting writer's nights, as well as other opportunities to perform.
JUST KEEP GOING
Again, I'm reminded of the power of that damn voice in my head. It can be so bleeping loud, and so bleeping convincing. And yet, I didn't let the "voice of reason" let me run and hide. I wouldn't have met the other writers, and presumably, I wouldn't have received the invite from the organizer if I had run when the voice in my head said to do so. Ok, so I didn't bomb (the voice in my head just said, "you did really."), I just didn't perform as well as I had hoped. But none-the-less, I keep going!
SO WITH THAT...
I leave you with this one simple thought: Just because the voice in your head says so, doesn't mean its true. I know that its coming from our own head, and we believe that it's true, but it's often not the TRUTH, and there's a big difference. Don't let that voice stop you from doing what it is that you really want to do!