Friday, 5 July 2013

I Remember...

The venue was Spice Of Life in Soho..

I had my strapless pink guitar on my back and joined the queue was already spilling into the street.
At some point I thought to myself, “There is no way I’d be able to play here tonight”

When I got to the front of the queue, I gave my name and guy said..

“You are number 22 on the list, we might not get to you before the open mic closes but do wait around just in case someone cancels.”

I had no clue what I was doing but I just wanted to put myself out there. I started taking guitar lessons six months prior and barely knew about three chords but it was all I needed to play the required two songs.
I sat down, looked around and felt so out of place.The thought of leaving did cross my mind a few times, but I stayed.

When my name was finally called (pronounced LANRA), I walked to the stage, sat on the stool and started to strum away. I don’t think I remember much of what happened afterwards. I do remember though that halfway in through my second song, my legs began to shake, my guitar was slowly sliding down my thighs and of course my fingers started to sweat. 
I stopped a few times to apologize (nerves i guess) to the silent crowd and continued till I finished my songs.
I thanked the audience for listening and left the stage.

If it was possible for the ground to open up and swallow me, I would have asked for it to do so. I felt so embarrassed BUT yet free.

I sent a text message to my hubby..

 “I've done it!!”

“Done what?” he text-ed back.

You see, I didn't tell a soul where I was going, or what I was doing. I think if I knew people were coming to see me I would have cancelled my slot.

I have since then played so many gigs that I've lost count. Not all perfect gigs by any chance but nothing close to my first experience of playing in front of a live audience.

My dad is an expert at marking anniversaries of every event… he was constantly taking stock, remembering and giving thanks. I think I've inherited that from him. Brings a smile to my face when I remember how he used to say things like..

“This time last week you were registering for your exams” or
“This time last month you took your driving test” or
“This time last year you were in the hospital”

So I imagine today he would have said something like…

“This time three years ago, you were preparing for your first open mic”