Being on stage as yourself, as opposed to following a script, is a completely contrasting experience. Interpreting the work of others is, without a doubt, a very rewarding experience, but I’ve never felt more fulfilled in my life than I did after opening for Dan Curcio at his album release party this past weekend. I have a mere shadow of the confidence that I once possessed as a precocious three year old, but bearing my own heart and soul for others to connect with, or possibly judge, has brought me into the most interesting state of mind. In the midst of wanting to land every riff and hit every note perfectly, I began to realize how much I care, and how much my need for perfectionism runs my life. It was in this moment, this fruition of consciousness, when I began to wonder how many of us wait a lifetime to pursue what we are truly passionate about due to a lack of believing in our own capabilites.
There are so many elements to think about on stage as a musician that most people overlook or fail to consider. On top of hours and hours of practice and memorization, there are always those moments that you can’t plan for; like the moment when my microphone cable became magically unplugged during one song, and then completely fell off the front of the stage after a booming rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” We literally finished off the evening with a very loud “BANG” ;). I began to realize that no matter how much you plan, how perfect you want something to end up, or how hard you may try to lock down everything in your act, your life, something will ALWAYS happen that will require you to get creative. My goal to reach a state of perfection totally altered within those seven minutes. Instead of fighting with all my energy to NOT MESS UP, I’m going to reverse that psychology and, instead, GIVE MY ALL with every word. If the world is effected by the way we perceive it, then maybe it’s time for me, for all of us, to make a change with our attitude toward ourselves. I am, without a doubt, my own worst critic, but I have the type of heart and soul that reaches deep within others to focus on the power, the beauty, and the real magic inside. So, why not do that with myself, ourselves?
Love truly begins within. I believe that so strongly. You have to love yourself enough to know that you deserve happiness, a shot at what it is that you really long for in your life, and that nothing is stopping you from achieving that success but your own personal hang-ups and egoic self-doubts. Shut that little, nagging voice UP and start moving. Meet your dreams halfway. I spent a few years waiting for destiny to fall into my lap, but the universe helps those who help themselves while keeping others lovingly in your heart and on your mind.
Ben Laing (A Night in Hollywood) and Matt Nagel (James Nagel) were pure magic to work with for this gig. They not only gave me a real sense of what it means to be a hard-working musician (supplying equipment, setting up/tearing down, acting as sound engineer on a whim, pouring love into every note they strummed/sang/rapped), but also instilled intense wisdom about the business, and life, into my being. I couldn’t feel more grateful or amped about whatever may come. Although I’m sure to have moments of sheer embarrassment, and possibly moments of great satisfaction and triumph, I will constantly be reminding myself: I am human, and life is a gift worth enjoying.
Photo by Stephanie Aquino Smith.