Oh goodness, I haven't posted since September. A lifetime seems to have passed since then. I've done so much, so much has changed; where to begin?
Since my last post I've had 7 gigs (not counting the tune I do every other week with Sean's band). Some have been good, some not so good, but a learning experience every time. I've managed to learn how to not crucify myself when I mess up. That's huge for me. Huge.
Two gigs ago I was so sick with stage fright I thought I should probably consider not performing anymore. I threw up twice, it felt like weasels were trying to claw their way out of my guts, I was shaking so hard I'm sure I was blurry and I spent a lot of, um, unpleasant time in the bathroom.
The gig itself was great. I wasn't perfect but that was ok. Chris, my musical partner in crime, was there with me and we had a great time. The audience response was great. Once it was over, I felt like a million bucks. But the lead up was bad. Very bad.
Before my last gig, which was yesterday, I was a bit more proactive about it. I meditated for 40 minutes in the morning, I took Rescue Remedy, I went for a walk, I rehearsed with Chris for 2 hours. I didn't start freaking out until about an hour and a half before CB picked us up. And I didn't freak out nearly as much as I did the time before. Not even close.
Since I booked the gig, I've fought my desire to put a ton of pressure on myself about it. I mostly won. Which is saying a lot without saying much at all. Just trust me when I say it was no small feat not to completely psych myself out over this one. But you know what? It turned out to be my best yet.
A big difference with this gig from others is that the room was mostly full of people I know. You see, I don't tell many people about my gigs because I didn't want my people to see me fail (and of course I'm always assuming I'll fail). But this gig was hosted by my friends so many of our mutual friends came. Plus, I actually told people about it so a couple of my people turned up too. I thought seeing all those familiar faces looking back at me would paralyze me but the opposite happened: I was on fire.
Not perfect, never perfect, but perfect in that moment. It's the first time I can honestly say I enjoyed performing. It was SO MUCH FUN. I wanna do it again. RIGHT NOW.
I've got 3 more gigs this month. I'm hoping March starts to fill up too.
Every day I torture myself with thoughts of "why am I doing this?" "to what end?" "for what purpose?". I get it now. After last night, I get it. It's for moments like that. Those moments when I'm completely myself and sharing my music with joy (not fear) and seeing both familiar and strange faces beaming back at me. It's magic. That's why I'm doing this.