Yesterday, I was blessed with the opportunity to perform on a stage pretty much as long as I wanted. The spot was located in a great place and the people left the stage to me and left me a tip jar to use as well. So generous. The day was successful for me. I equated the amount of money I made in 2 hours to the same amount I would have made in a day working for Concorde, which in many ways validated my "worth" as an artist to me. It let me know that I have a chance at surviving on the road. So yesterday was a big day for me.
I have this pattern of being completely worn out the day after a performance. So today was a rough day. Daylight savings threw me off, last night I drank just a tad too much, and the day seemed to drag against everything I was telling myself I needed to accomplish.
I woke up late, or according to the new Spring clock, by the time I was ready to get up, I was beyond starving. Sluggish, because that's what alcohol does to the human body, and without breakfast groceries (and I'm spoiled to wanting to breakfast FIRST). Anyway, after nourishing my body, I immediately felt sick and tired all over again. Against everything my hustling nature told me, my body needed rest. Of course I felt guilty because this physical pain had to be self inflicted. I must have wasted half the day just trying to recover.
As the sun started to settle into the New Orleans horizon, I started thinking to myself it was far too late for me to be on the streets at this point (these streets are dangerous for traveling young woman). Assessing the level of my physical strength I knew even if I needed at any point to fight for my life it would be too much of an effort so I decided to look into something a little more mellow for the evening.
This moment allowed me to recall a conversation I had had with my brother just a few weeks ago regarding this entire adventure. We talked about audience. In my humblest ego, I remember telling him I feel destined to reach a large audience. He said something along the lines of, we think bigger of ourselves than what God intends of us, sometimes our audience isn't as large as we think.. I think part of me was offended, the other half of me understood that an audience of one is sometimes all you need to reach that day.
So here I am, now, at one of the coolest coffee shops I've ever been to sharing my talent with a bunch of people who are also sharing themselves. Although it took me half the day to get up and go, I wouldn't have made it to this open mic under any other circumstance. I've hung out with locals, talked to travelers and heard so many amazing stories about the "journey" that life has to offer.
Although the street scene would have been the more "lucrative" route, it takes a lot out of an artist to try and capture an audience, draw them in, keep them, and hope they leave with something you've said (or leave a tip).
While yesterday was a successful day, financially, it did take a lot out of me to be that vulnerable in front of so many. Today I was refueled by a ton of vulnerable artist working at being better artist, giving themselves to me equally as much as I had given myself to them.
Sometimes you have to listen to your body as much as you listen to your heart and mind. Although I'll never know what would have happened had I gone somewhere else today, I do not doubt that this is what I needed.
My grandmother had a bunch of sayings that my parents and aunt and uncles would often pass on to us. The one that I recall most vividly is, as long as you have a full tank of gas, you'll never be lost. I figure as long as I'm breathing, I'll never be lost.
Our paths are still being defined, even those moments that seem like set backs give us opportunity to BeGreat>.