Last night was the first time I organized a gig for myself. It was surprisingly easy to put together on the whole; GvD suggested a place where they regularly book newbie performers. I sent off an email and within the week had a gig booked in a month’s time. It was then suggested to me that perhaps I should offer more performers for the evening so that I knew who would be playing that night instead of letting fate decide.
So I naturally asked GvD if he would oblige. After he said yes, I asked another acoustic muso and a fellow jazzer to round out the night. Sadly, the jazz musician had to back out, but that left the night with three acts; the perfect number, as it turns out.
Looking back on it, I should have been the opener because my set was the shortest, but since I organized the bloody thing, I went on last like the proper diva that I am. The lovely thing was just how many friends came out to support me. It was phenomenal to see how crowded the place was.
My nerves were in a weird shape that night. I felt almost out of body for most of the night and when it was all over I was…exhausted. Nerves jangled and feet weary, I was ready to leave nearly as soon as it was done, but I still needed to thank everyone for coming. It was such an attentive audience that I was shot with self-consciousness after the end of it all. You would think that having an attentive audience is the pinnacle of a performance, but when you’re completely on display, there is no hiding. You’re naked up there and they’re all staring with eyes and ears.
Nina Simone used to stop playing if people began talking through her set. I have yet to gain that level of confidence and I still struggle with this idea that I’m way too old to be trying to find it now. Yet I still persist, like a dog with a bone, because I know what those highs feel like, and I like ’em too much to give up.