Hell, It Feels So Good to Stand (Up Here)
Well, I did it. I grabbed stage fright by the gonads and, well, I kicked. HARD. I performed my very own songs to a crowded room without losing my breath, my lyrics or my mind. That's not to say that it went off without a hitch - there were plenty. Enough to break me? Nope. Enough to scare me from the stage? Never. Enough to make me bitch and complain? Hell to the Yes. But that's what I do: I experience, I write, I record, I perform and I bitch -- the entire time, most always for good reason. If you know me and still talk to me after all of that, God love ya! Seriously, though, let me back up and talk a bit about getting de-stagenized.
My first opportunity to let my babies - these songs of mine that I had kept to myself for years - loose into the world was not even close to what I dreamed. That's not to say it wasn't fulfilling, it just wasn't what I had expected or envisioned. In preparing for my recording studio's "artist showcase," my name, my songs and my spirit got a bit beaten up in the process. Promotionally, I was either non-existent or went by different versions of "Arlanna Snow." As for scheduled performance time, it was a constant back-and-forth. I was going on last, no I was going on first. FIRST!?!? I was performing two songs; never mind, just one. No, wait. I'm back up to two. Don't get excited! Only one again. For an artist who was used to performing, this may not be a big deal. For someone who had never performed in her ENTIRE LIFE, this mattered. Like... A LOT. At the semi-famous Middle East Club in Cambridge, MA I was to take the "Upstairs" stage at 7:15. After driving up a very steep ramp situation (thanks, Dad), I was officially in it and I planned to win it. Then again, some things went beyond my control. Like the microphone stand being set for someone about a foot taller than me, a keyboard (sans pedal) in which I had never laid eyes (or fingers) on which produced a horrific, generic-like sound and where were those little monitors that performers wore on-stage to hear themselves? I was supposed to do sound-check, but again I was (or someone was) misinformed and I had to just go for it. So, blindly (really, all I could see were red lights) - I did. I was cranking out the song like no tomorrow until - wait a minute, where did the music go? My first, and only, song cut out smack dab in the middle! DJ wasn't playin' NO song all night, on and on and on. You'd think he'd at least start over from the beginning? Nope. I just had to find my way. I stumbled, oh yes I stumbled, but I didn't fall. Later on that night I got a second chance. I performed a second song and it felt better, easier, more fun. I still couldn't hear myself, but I was drunk, who the hell cared at that point anyway? I jammed. You jammed. We all jammed.
Let's get to the heart of it all, though. The energy I felt up on that stage looking out into the faces of everyone who supported me and loved me all these years, no matter if I sank or swam, singing the words that came from somewhere deep inside of me - it can only be described as what I would assume to be the best acid-trip ever. I left the stage that night (with applause I actually did only think I would hear in my dreams) to see first my producer, then friends, family and even strangers - who congratulated me and hugged me with a ferocity reserved only for those really proud moments; the kind that mean you did something in which only true courage and unbreakable passion are necessary for.
So, to all of you, THANK YOU. 100 TIMES, THANK YOU. I couldn't have done it without you! Cheers to many more!