My gigging journey - Part 6
Hey everyone, it's been a little while since I posted an update on my gigging journey, but i'm pleased to say that recently I have made some significant progress!
I am lucky to have a small group of supportive musicians who keep in touch on a regular basis to encourage me to keep sharing music and 'get out there', and one of those is the lovely Simon Waldram who is always offering me gigs. Most of the time I say no because I have an irrational fear that I won't be able to translate my own songs into a live setting, but this year I have decided to say yes to as many things as possible. Simon asked me if I would like to perform with him and Autumn Dawn Leader at a David Bowie tribute concert to be held at a place called Fearon Hall in Loughborough.
Although nervous about my first public appearance as emzae, I focussed on pushing the doubts to the back of my head and amplifying the feeling of excitement to be back on stage again. The hall looked nice from what I could see online, and I knew that the other musicians performing on the night were too. Even my psychologist said I was ready for it.
I visited Fearon Hall a week before the gig for a rehearsal and was given a warm welcome by the staff. As we set everything up (which for me was just a chair because there was no way I was playing guitar!!!) Autumn began singing an amazing rendition of Life On Mars. I was shaking, as I had come to expect in my life at this point. What if my voice wasn't up to scratch? What if I didn't really deserve a place at this gig, or even a place practising alongside these talented and experienced performers? How do people even start out in music? How do they ever develop enough confidence to go off on their own? And then it was my turn to sing.
At first I felt as though I couldn't get my notes out, but after I while I began to feel more comfortable. Before long, we had been playing for a couple of hours. I was smiling on the inside because I realised that there were few other ways I would rather spend a Saturday morning than singing. It just felt natural somehow, like we all had a connection through the music. Suddenly now I felt like the whole thing was less of a pipe dream and more like reality.
I spent many hours searching for a holographic skirt on eBay, only to realise that a) I had left it too late to get one from China and b) I already had a dress... with black stars on it! ER HELLO!!!! So I shovelled concealer and foundation onto my face, washed my hair and turned up to the gig in full costume.
First there was a soundcheck, and I didn't know what to do. I come from a world of dress rehearsals and sitting in cramped little back rooms with costumes hung up on rails and make-up and chocolate fingers on the floor. I have no idea about live audio set-ups, and I have no idea how to hold a mic or what to do on stage. I just sort of guess.
The good news is that the soundcheck helped me get used to the stage. The only difference from soundcheck to performance would be a few more people in the room (hopefully) watching.
The gig had a great turnout and it was lovely to see an audience of all ages having fun. I watched as various performers took to the stage, looking like they had been there and done that a million times as I tried to make it look like I had too. I tried not to think about anything, but along came the nervous shaky feeling again. At least it was slightly less powerful than the last time I got on stage, which in my eyes was progress.
I got up there in the second set, closed my eyes and sang. It helped to be facing the side as it meant not having to look into the whites of anyone's eyes.... but I was still on stage in front of a load of people singing as emzae. We performed "Changes" and "The Man Who Sold the World" and they seemed to go down pretty well. When the gig was done I was so proud. I'm still on cloud nine. I can't believe i'm back on stage again!