Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Right People Always Show Up

My friend Ro is having his annual art show tonight.  And I will show up for him.  Tomorrow, another friend, Kathy, is having her annual "holiday pottery show" at her home where she sells her handmade ceramics.  I will also show up for her.  I will choose to be there for my friends over staying in my comfortable warm home (or whatever else might be an option) because I know how meaningful it is when people actually show up.

Over the past few months, as I’ve been gigging out again, I’ve been experiencing both the stress (and excitement) of wondering if anyone will show up to hear me.  As a musician, I need people to show up, or I probably won’t get that gig offered to me again.  When a place hires “music”, it’s not just to make for a nice experience for existing customers, but it’s to bring in new customers as well.  And that responsibility feels stressful to me.  Because although I can promote a show,I never really know if people will show up.  And when they don’t, it’s hard not to take it personally.

I have such social anxiety over this sometimes.  Honestly, I think it’s the main reason I had lost interest in performance for the past several years.  I hate the feeling of twisting someone’s arm into coming out to hear me sing.  It’s just so uncomfortable and it takes me right back to a lot of feelings I had in junior high. I’m not cool enough.

The other night, I was lamenting to a friend about this very thing.  I was nervous about who was going to show up for what I knew would be my last public gig of the year.  She said this simple but wise thing to me: The right people will show up.

And ultimately, she was right.  

So, if you decide to have a holiday party during the season or an art show, or a holiday bazaar, or whatever, please remember what my friend told me. The right people will show up.  And to me, that’s a lot more important than the total headcount.
Here I am with some of the people who not only showed up for me, but stuck around until the bitter end. 💙

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