This night, was amazing. The gal worrying mostly about what to wear when walking in to 4C every Thursday, wanting to just be around real musicians, my 24 year old me. Would give me a big hug and a high five. Why? Because my outfit has turned to more like a uniform, and I am last night I was art of creating the fun from nothing.
Before ever entering anything anywhere, you gotta know your room. Always nr 1, listen first. Feel the vibe. Literally, feel the vibe. All (new?) situations in life involving other people, are like sitting down at a table where people are already engaged in a conversation. Would you sit down and start telling about your day without having no idea what they are talking about? NO! Unless you’re a dick. You enter quietly. You listen. You teach yourself what is going on, before you start adding to it. Or changing it. This out of no bigger reason than decency. Simple decency.
If sitting down by the table is hella scary, remind yourself, that if you belong just like everyone else. You are not that much worse than anybody else. You might even do a good thing, if you aim at adding rather than changing.
At 4C they were all inspiring, aspiring, writers, musicians, singers. What brought them together, what made those evening possible, was the fact that they were all doers. Bringing my camera made me a doer too. It got me in. And it was well done, because it has made me some money at the end and made a me loads of friends, brought me wonderful experiences and people. However, all I actually and really wanted was to have someone, Tavey, teach me how to not be such a nervous wreck so that I could join the fun. Someone to just come and say “I know you’re hiding something amazing. Something that your shyness is’nt letting you bring out to the world. Something so new, so refreshing and just so amazing that the world needs it. You’re talents are too important to be hidden away, so Im gonna help you. By next year, you’ll be as comfortable on this very stage as you are on your on toilet at home”
Now listen up ya’ll! The world aint werkin like dat.
If you want one thing, do not get comfortable doing another.
Because as soon as you do, that place is where people around you will perceive you comfortable. All of a sudden, that is who you are. I became the photographer, not the girl trying my stuff out at the Open Mic. Then it is a big shift that needs to be made, rather then just slipping into something new while at a new place. Environmental changes are great for these shifts. When I was still new there I should have just gone and do it, but at the same time. No. I was not ready. I loved to just listen. Feel the atmosphere. The energy. I loved falling in love with the place, with everyone. Being around people singing and jamming together became like a drug. It filled my soul and it still does.
I have been singing and writing songs on my own, sometimes with my best friend Matilda, for 7 tears now. 7 years… I dare to say I have found my voice. I dare to say, my songs are good. All that is missing, is a band.
Doesn’t matter what your dream is, if you are doing something completely different because you are scared of what might happen if you give it a shot. At this point, I had basically made a decision that the dream of joining the fun does not get a chance to flourish. Basically, I had killed its pulse by getting comfortable not doing it. By bringing my camera instead of bringing my book of songs I’ve written. It was my job to keep the dream alive, not give it valium. Keep its pulse strong! My other job was to show other people where the pulse is. That there is a certain fire withing me, not in hot flames, but glowing. If people are not aware of those glowing pieces of creativity within you, who in their right mind would try to help you away from where you are already doing? Especially, if that it what you have made your identity? That would be mad. So its up to you, to inform them. Its up to you, to make it happen.
Keeping it alive at home is ofc a way to keep its pulse strong. To maintain the glow. Not even doing that, will cost you a lot. So always at least believe in yourself when you’re alone, if you cant when with others. Now I have reached a point where this glow needs to become fire. I want the flames to go high, so that I can dance naked behind them and still be invisible to people. That is how much fire I have. I cant imagine how my soul will feel when I am jamming with musicians playing to my words. Aaaah euphoria.
What if my 24 year old me would have seen the 28 year old me sitting there yesterday singing with 2 strangers and a the manager of Hot Cat, drumming with my Chinese fan on the table, the Bai Jiu bottle and my lap – not being scared. Just having fun. Just enjoying. Trusting the others to take me seriously, just like I did them. Grateful to be a part of it, not even thinking about wether I belong or not. If I am good enough or not. Realizing today, the morning after, that I didn’t even get the traditional “I have dared to sing when people can hear me stomache ache”, which usually lasts for about 40 very intense minutes. But nothing. Nope. Zero. Nada. Why?… Because I just allowed myself to enjoy. None of it was a performance where result mattered.
That turned out to be the key for the out coming, for the soft opening of sharing my voice in social situations without it being agony or something that needs “powering through”. Taking the pressure off and focusing on why I was doing it, was key. Joy! Doing it for the same reason there as I do at home. Because it makes me happy! Because it comes naturally! Because I love doing it. When I didn’t have anything to bring to our circle beyond the tapping of my fan, I meditated on how happy I was to be there. How beautiful this moment was, and I even dared to close my eyes and just listen. Tap and listen. On my gratitude that I had been invited to play. Invited to this idea “That hey, lets make some music right here, right now”. All I had done to be counted in on that, was admitted that I sing and write on my own. That joy in my heart I got from them giving me room, also made the singing come easily. It came from my heart and I was more than happy to share.
There was this lovely girl from France, Felia, who is a major Erykah Baidu fan and I could’nt believe how lucky I was that she was there. I love people who sing like that. Its so weird, and so amazing. Its so free. So not square. Such an outburst of a feeling one cant explain with words, because human has not come up ith them yet. But with this singing of sounds, you can feel it. The whole thing was magical.
Give room to those silly outbursts of joy, whatever they are.
Joy will make you bigger and bigger, while lighter and lighter. Give Joy room, not Fear.
Follow your joy goddammit.
And be nice to people.