:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

I did it! (Patresa)

I celebrated the Lunar New Year by getting over myself and playing in front of


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)


Wendy said...

P. That's rad. I know that you see yourself sometimes as squirmy and fearful, but I think you've got the guts of a thousand warriors. There is no way I would've posted a live video of myself after even years of playing gigs and look at you! I'm going to use YOU as inspiration to be more proud of myself and what I do.

You've just got creativity oozing from your bones and I'm so happy to hear of all the ways that you continually express that creativity and talent... writing (I still have all of the letters you sent me after high school because I love your writing so much), music, painting, etc.
You're a dynamo. A real dynamo and I thank you for inspiring us to be dynamos, too.

amy said...

My current internet has totally blocked youtube from my viewing pleasure (in fact, as I type this, I'm looking at 2 huge ACCESS DENIED and I'm being told my internet activity is now being logged and monitored) so I can't watch your fabulous performances until this evening.

But I do want to say I am too, too, TOO excited that you have Mission Accomplished slam dunked this COFFEE project, P to the licious. And I know Melissa will be particularly excited about your rendition of 3 Little Birds (we sing it every morning in the car).

Man. Am I going to have to make a Thursday trip to Iowa this summer for a visit to Circus or Ritual? I think so, P Coffehouse Rock Star.


Steph said...

Oh, P... I'm teary right now... in. front. of. my. students. In fact, they watched most of this with me. (journalism kids, btw) They were impressed. "Pace, you have cool friends. What's up with that?" Implication: this chick is WAAAAAYYYYY too cool, talented, and amazing to be friends you. How in the heck did this happen???? They have properly assessed the situation. Fact.
You are IN-CREDIBLE! I loved every second and am so jealous of the trendy sorts who got to see it up close & in person! TOTALLY LOVED IT! I think you look like you're up there doing exactly what you were born to do. (No offense, state of Iowa AIDS prevention people, but... I'm just sayin'.)
Mission Accomplished, indeed, friend. Much love & appreciation!

T-Free said...

WOO-HOO!! You did it! Proud of you, lady. And you did it WELL. I agree with what Wendy said too; I can never watch myself perform either. You are so BRAVE, and you sound and look so good. I love your songs! And I love that Bob Marley song too. So soothing and pretty.

Wow. So... what fear is getting its ass kicked next? Go get 'em, P! :) xoxoxoxoxo.

Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Everything, Messenger, AOK, 3 Little Birds...... I love it all. You sang them all so beautifully and like such a star! (I hope I got all the songs correcto sister.)

I can't wait to come listen and be one of those people cheering! I am just really so so very proud of you. You are amazing Sister P. Amazing. I also want you to know this is NO surprise to me. None. Nada. Zilch.

Now, I am already thinking ahead..... I have plans for you, P. I've got some plans.

amy said...

I'm with Pace and her students--you're cool. These were most awesome, Patresa. Most. Awesome. I can totally see myself relaxing with a refreshing adult beverage of some kind and mellowing out to the smooth song stylings of Patresa H. and guitar.

You're, like, a celebrity now. That I KNOW. Hooray!

Katie said...

Well. My goodness Ms. P, look at you. All of the songs were wonderful, but I have to tell you, your cover of 3 little birds gave me goosebumps. And then made me tear up because of the happy memories I have around that song, and the way you sang it brought every single one of them up. Thank you. And unless I'm mistaken you could hear a pin drop while you sang, so I know I can't be the only one so moved.

Your voice is really something. Your tone and mellow-ness just makes me peaceful and right with the world. You are a brave and beautiful soul my friend. Thanks for sharing your triumph!! I want to see more!

Woot Woot!!

patresa said...

wooooo hoooooooooo! thanks, everybody! high fives all around!

blj said...

Yes, everyone, it was all of those things and more! I am so lucky I live in the same town as P and got to be there in person. Can't wait for thursday night to do it again! P, I will confirm location and time with you on Wednesday :)

Amy, yes, you should come sometime to witness it yourself. So should the rest of you! I'm feeling the need to meet you all in person someday... P groupies thursday night, vision board friday night... bring the dogs, kids, husbands, whatever, let's have a party!