It’s Thursday, November 7th 2019 ~ a day filled with morning music lessons, practice, cat cuddling and preparation for tonight’s Open Mic at Las Chiladas Mexican Restaurant. Seems lately that I am hosting more open mic than live solo performances, which sometimes concerns me. Hosting is fun, inviting other performers to play, share the stage, watch their growth and honor their journey.
I used to perform at a lot of Open mic events, back when I first started out, nervously waiting my turn, hoping that my 15 minutes in the spotlight were my best, it’s a tough way to get some feedback and hone skills. You can practice all you want in the privacy of your home, every note perfect, but seat yourself infront of a crowd and sometimes, every note is a struggle. It’s hard to get gigs, especially as a solo performer, play a joint a couple of times, bring in good business, try and get booked again and get ghosted. It makes one scratch their head, doubting their time, talent and appeal. I played a 3 hour solo acoustic gig the other night, and try as I might, I couldn’t grab the crowd, until I played Baby Shark, then they all turned around and started singing. I thought to myself, “really…?”
As a songwriter, with lots of originals thanks to being part of a songwriting group, I long to play my music live. But somehow, I find myself playing covers to please the audience, more than myself. It’s true, most every musician knows a ton of covers so that we can keep the audience in their seats and help the venue make money, for in the end, if they make money, then we hopefully get invited back.
It’s my struggle right now, trying to find a balance of playing my music, helping others play their music and keeping the audience engaged.
Thought of the day: “To thy own self be true and get used to eating ramen noodles”