Still learning how to be me. In the comfort of my home, it’s pretty easy. But when I head toward the stage it becomes a daunting task, even after all these years. To be my truest self in front of a bunch of strangers is the most unsettling thing. I keep thinking it should get easier.
I stand up there with words and music that come from my soul, and put it before people I do not know, for their approval. What a bizarre activity when you really think about it. My deepest motivation has been to give something, to share something real, in the hopes that the audience and I might be transformed together. Lofty eh?
A fellow musician friend of mine shared with me why he stuck to doing cover songs. He said, ‘If I do covers and they don’t like it, who cares? But if I do my originals and they don’t like it, then they are rejecting me.’ Well put. That is how it feels.
For me it’s always been a crap shoot. Some nights I get lucky, I win because I didn’t get the better of myself, and other nights well, it’s a whole other story. I mess up my playing, I forget the words, I completely f*ck it all up. Why? Because I’m my own worst enemy. I am a believer in the power of our own thoughts and words to create our reality, apparently I still need to hone this skill!! Tuesday night, I created a heckler at Club Helsinki. No other performer heard from this guy but me. I opened my mouth to speak a bit before I played and from the shadows I hear, “just sing”. Yea. OK.
And I let it ruin my whole experience. I let it take what little confidence I had going in. I let it follow me home and take me down a dark road. Until I finally stopped it cold by realizing that this is what I let happen over and over and over again. Now that I’ve taken responsibility, I look forward to creating a new scenario for myself going forward.
Towne Crier Invitational Finals followup: Well, it was close but no cigar. It was a good crowd, receptive and attentive and I felt that I gave a good performance but I certainly did not go in like a competitor. That might have helped since it was a competition. I’ve never taken the attitude, “I’m the best”, because somewhere along the way I must have decided that would be ‘bad’, it wasn’t ‘nice’. I’m realizing now, that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with, “I’m the best me!”. Another lesson learned. It’s been a good week for that.
I’ve never fit in, and generally I’m ok with that, but when I make it matter, when I try to fit into someone else’s idea of who I should be, I crumble. I’m kind of like that Warner Brothers frog….
*originally written June 7, 2012.