September 11, 2014
Lazy Sundays Show + A Moment of Honesty
A few weeks ago, I was invited by my friend Isaac to play a show at a community garden here in Bushwick. It was one of those idyllic places that reminded me of my college days... with lots of random stuff strewn about, a potluck, and people enthusiastic to be a part of art.
I ended up playing when it was just getting to be twilight, and they turned on these pretty bistro lights.
Photos of me taken by MJ Batson.
Okay, so... I haven't really talked a lot in recent years about playing shows, or what it's like to be a performer. It can be an exhilarating experience, like a roller coaster. And when you're done, no matter how scared you are in the beginning, there's that "Let's do it again!!" feeling at the end.
If I'm being completely honest though, it can also feel less than awesome at times ....
At least in the New York market, I feel that performers must have a super extroverted style in order to be noticed... and that's just not always me. The best shows usually end with a strong sense of connection with the audience. I don't really think about playing guitar perfectly, or how to be a "crowd pleaser." I don't feel pressure to be "impressive."
I do my best when I'm not worrying about those things.
And after all this time, I still don't have a thick skin. I can get stage fright, and really let my surroundings affect me more than they should. Sometimes I just can't pretend.
At this Lazy Sunday garden party, I almost broke down onstage.... AKA, a performer's worst nightmare. It had been a tough few days. And after the first few songs, the tears just couldn't stop themselves from welling up. And I thought... "I've had enough... I'm done with this." Almost walked off.
Somehow I held it together, stared awkwardly at the ground for a minute, and blinked the tears away. When I finished playing, 20 people had signed up for my mailing list.
Of course, not every performance is hard. It can be magical :) And sometimes, even when you think you've had an "off" night, ten people come up and tell you how much they enjoyed it. You never know when you're going to affect someone positively, even when crying onstage. ♥♥
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