at Des Moines Social Club's Open Circus.
Irrational Fear, I give you my middle finger.
COFFEE Project: Mission Accomplished.
It's been a few weeks, and I actually already wrote about it at my nap in the bergamot blog. You can read that here: Nap in the Bergamot.
One detail I left out that I think is funny and painfully in-line with my essence and is also why I will never ever, as hard as I may try, ever be cool: I was in the bathroom when they called me up. It's a very "open floor plan" and when I came out of the bathroom (having heard my name), the audience turned around and looked at me. I'm pretty sure my fly was up, but it's hard to tell. I'm surprised I remember to wear pants most days.
If I'm being honest, I will confess that I did not enjoy it. I enjoyed having good friends there. My parents came. Chrispy McNichols. I enjoyed that. But, I did not enjoy the playing experience. I don't like being that uncomfortable--feeling barfy and self-conscious and unsure and vulnerable (Hello, Stephany!) and sweaty and trembly and brain-gappy. As super fantastic as that may sound, can you believe it?
The good news, however, is that I tried again a week later (which was last week). I played at a different coffee shop -- Ritual Cafe. Both Open Circus and Ritual are casual and laid back and no big deal. Ritual was... super duper super casual and laid back and no big deal, though. I was still a bit nervous, but overall felt a lot more comfortable. Take all the discomfort of Time #1 and chop it in half.
Then... I tried it again (at Open Circus) about 3 hours after Ritual. That's right: 2 open mics in one night. The third time I actually didn't feel nervous at all. (The beer helped.) And I decided to wing it with a cover on the out-of-tune piano (Ain't No Sunshine, Bill Withers). This... I enjoyed. Actually, I enjoyed that a lot.
So apparently, I just have to keep doing it in order to get over the discomfort. Huh. Didn't see that coming.
Things that are cool:
- Meeting fun, creative, open people.
- Not feeling so awfully closeted with my music. I hate that it's some kind of weird secret.
- Feeling a renewed energy and motivation to work on my songs. Before, I played at home in my living room, but it didn't really matter. Nobody heard. Not even Chris. So, I could just kind of fart stuff out without caring if it was quality. Now, I want to work on things more. I've even been taking a scratch pad for lyrics to work. (Don't tell the state.)
So there is that. There will be future open mics -- next Thursday, in fact. This might become my new Thursday activity. Friends, be alert! And I'm not sure if I'll continue that as my COFFEE Project or tackle one of the other things stuck in my craw (I have a few.).
In the meantime: 2 videos.
Video 1 = A hodgepodge of my 15 minute, 4-song set.
Video 2 = My last song in its entirety. Actually, it isn't MY song. It's a cover. "3 Little Birds" by Bob Marley.
High five, COFFEE Lovers! (And thank you for the kind encouragement. I had no idea how empowering our collective little project here was going to be. I really didn't. I am deeply grateful for the surprise.)
Video 1 (Hodgepodge)
Video 2 (3 Little Birds)