Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Uncomfortably Naked

I was invited to an Artist/Producer meet and greet to a new documentary style show that is starting production soon, called Texas Troubadours.  When I first got their email, I thought I had a conflict.  But as it turned out, I was free, (which is a whole other blog post!) and so I told them yes, I would come.

And then I forgot all about it.  Until the morning of, when my friend who knew of it, called to find out what song I had decided to sing, etc.  Uh oh.  My gut reaction to his call was that I shouldn't go to the meet and greet.  I should just stay home and play with my puppies.   I had a good excuse-- I had totally forgotten all about it and hadn't prepared.

But I hung up the phone, and went out on my 5 mile run and got my thoughts together.  At least a little bit.  I decided what I'd sing.  (Although my friend convinced me later that afternoon to do a different song instead.) And I figured out how I could tell "my story" in a short sound bite.

And really, I know I won't get picked for this thing anyway.  I just wanted to show up.  I never put myself out there.  I miss opportunities due to fear, and then I have to live with my regret. 

When I was younger, I never told anyone I liked to sing.  Or that I knew how to play the guitar.  Until I was about 32 years old. During a cruise with my family, my brother dared me to enter the talent show.  I did, because other than my family, I didn't know anyone there, so I figured I could pull it off, and even if I didn't, who would care?  Well, playing in that stupid little talent show sort of changed my life!

Taking chances, and doing something out of the ordinary can do that.  I know that now.

So that's why I decided to go to this meet and greet thing.  If nothing else, I can chalk it up to an interesting experience I've had. 
Meeting and greeting.
There were about 20 musicians there.  The production people told us a bit about the concept of the show- basically a documentary styled show that will introduce viewers to Texas singer-songwriters, and what a day-in-the-life really looks like.  We were told we had 10 minutes up on stage to tell our 'who, what, why and how', and sing one song.  I was completely thrown off by the fact that I had to do so much talking in front of an audience.  In my head, I thought it was going to just be a Q&A.  I didn't realize everyone there would be listening and watching, and that their would be a camera in my face the whole time. But hello, Kerri?  This is for a TV show, so that does make sense.
one of my ultra cool not posing poses
Well, it didn't go great.  I didn't tell my story well at all.  I got to listen to back to what I had said, because my friend videoed it for me.  I left out parts of my story, and told it out of order.  So it ended up sounding like my story went something like this: in 5th grade, Dad took me on a cruise in which I entered a talent show, which then led to me playing in bars, which is what I still do today.  I meant to say I started playing the guitar in 5th grade.  That I was for some reason shy about it and had never performed in front of anyone, or really pursued anything in the way of music.  I always played music, but just for myself and by myself. And that many, many years later, I went on a cruise with my family and entered a talent show.  After I came back from that, I started booking gigs.  My fear of failure and fear of rejection finally got trumped by a deep yearning to expose myself to other people through my music.

I didn't use up anywhere close to my 10 minutes on that stage.  I came off as someone who had very little to say.  Which isn't really the truth of me at all.  I have a lot to say!!!  But I froze.

In the post performance interview, I think I told one of the producers that I like to write music, but that I don't like to perform.  Which isn't entirely true, however, I do have a tendency to get a good dose of performance anxiety when it matters the most. And I'm sure that really impressed him.  I'm sure he's looking for shy people who can't put words together to form coherent sentences.  That would make super exciting TV!

Ironically, I sang my song, "Naked", which is exactly how I felt.  Naked.  On a fat day.


Laurie said...

OMgosh...I feel for you. I think I'd die if I had to go out on stage Singing, no problem, talking...eek.

patty said...

Kerri, I'm so proud of you for not only stepping out of your comfort zone and showing up, but also for sharing the whole story with us here!! You just never know what might end up happening because of it.... and, as usual, your voice sounds lovely!!

Melissa Sarno said...

That's amazing that you put yourself out there and went for it! I would have been the same way. When I'm put on the spot, I can not for the life of me tell a coherent story. But I bet you did better than you think you did. It always works that way (even if you saw a video, your perception of yourself is totally skewed!) Congrats for being so awesome!

Roberta said...

Ahhh...naked on a fat day...I can so appreciate that since that's how I feel lately. But you are way too hard on yourself...your video was just great! Talking about ourselves is always off-putting and I'm sure that you were not the only performer to feel the same way. At least it is behind you now and perhaps next time it won't be so intimidating...cause you survived like a trouper ;) Hope you have a wonderful week. Fondly, Roberta

Jadyn said...

Aw, I love this post Kerri. It really is so vulnerable to put yourself out there...I am sure you did much better than you think. I just sang a song at my sister's wedding and it didn't go so great - I got so nervous once I was in front of people. I can certainly relate to that naked feeling! So cool that you did it though!! I hope you give yourself props for that!
By the way, Naked is one of my faves on your cd. Also, I experienced some delays while flying home to The Netherlands for a week and it really soothed my nerves to listen to your cd on my idpod while waiting in line! So thank you for that! xx

Andy Morris said...

When I read "my story went something like this: in 5th grade, Dad took me on a cruise in which I entered a talent show, which then led to me playing in bars, which is what I still do today." I had a big belly laugh, the idea of you in 5th grade playing in bars! Anyway, I'm proud of you for going, and hope to hear you play soon. It's always so cool when I hear you on KXT keep on keepin' on!
Andy Morris

Anonymous said...

You know Keri, you should be so proud that you did take that risk... yay you. You put on those big girl pants.... This is just a step of many i'm sure. An I'm sure it was not as bad as it seemed. What must have felt awkward and flustered to you probably cam across as sweet and charming to people who don't know you... Go pat yourself on the back!!!! and go cuddle those sweet little pups.

Anonymous said...

Dahling, you put your beautiful self out there, which is not an easy thing to do, and you survived! The vulnerability of doing this embraced you, so now you have a new song to write with these emotions!!

Sometimes what we do translates and sometimes it doesn't. But what matters is we did it, fat days and all.

I've been a crazed woman over here with work and misplaced your doggie blog! Can you send it to me again. I'd love to see how the Ricardos are doing :)


Adriana said...

Kerri, it's not whether we win or loose but how well we play the game that matters! In my eyes you WON the day! So brave to show up under the circumstance! It's just another experience of life...You did GREAT! Hug x0x

Esther said...

I can relate to the performancy anxiety. But you are so brave for going anyway. And I LOVE the song!!

Robin Norgren, M.A, R-YT, Spiritual Director said...

Kerri, I love reading that as talented you are, you STILL battle with the nerves of this creative thing. Thank you so much for your genuine spirit. xoRobin