Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Solo Gig

After a couple of wrong turns, I finally found the venue with minutes to spare. And here I was thinking I should have brought my library copy of Slumdog Millionaire to pass the time. The occasion was for a festival of lights that a new high school was hosting. I had signed up to perform from 6-7, before a school production of Footloose.

Mr. L was setting out a box of donuts to sell when I came in. There was a small hall to the left with beautifully lit Christmas trees and I wondered if I was to perform in there, but he pointed towards the school lobby, about a 30 by 30 foot echo-ey area which concerned me because I wondered about acoustics. He explained that people would be lining up and going through there to get to the musical. I could choose where to set up.

I picked a spot by the donuts and silent auction table, between the lobby and the Christmas tree hall, so I can get some exposure but not get run over. Already, my vocal chords were tired because of practicing over the guitar at home, so when they found a teacher who loaned me a wireless mike to clip to my shirt, I was so grateful.

(I would really love to amp up someday soon. I'd love having my own mike and acoustic/electric guitar. But this still worked.)

Next to me was a set of stairs where two girls from student government hung out as they "babysat" the trees and the refreshments table. I took out my guitar, my song book, and launched into Christmas carols.

A few groups of students paused and eyed me curiously or with surprise. Some grown-ups, arriving for Footloose, stopped and smiled at me. An elderly couple with their granddaughter hung out for several minutes. I asked the little girl what song she wanted from my songlist. We settled on Rudolph (note to self: learn other "audience participation" songs) and she sang along with me.

A woman stopped and looked at my song book. "Ah, so you're the entertainment? You have a beautiful voice."

At 7, a frazzled-looking Mr. L came by and said, "Maybe another 15 minutes?" Which was good, because I was already recycling some songs. I ended strong with Rocking Around The Christmas Tree which is one of my favorite songs.

As I packed up, the two girls complimented me on my performance. "How long have you been playing the guitar?" one asked. They made me feel that even though I wasn't exactly rocking the joint with songs high school kids could jam to, they appreciated my singing.

My audience was sparse, there wasn't really a line to speak of, and only a few people came by for donuts or the trees. But I loved every minute. I loved bringing the spirit of Christmas to this high school that was also trying to bring Christmas to others. I felt like a "real" musician and I think I did a good job of being professional even though I was quaking inside.

This could grow on me.


Melanie Avila said...

That's so great! I would be freaking out performing all on my own. Go you!!

Jewel/Pink Ink said...

Thanks Melanie!