Do you still get butterflies when you’re about to perform? When you’re about to do something a little different? Take things up a notch? How about when you release a new single? I used to get that feeling all the time, but haven’t in ages. So long as I’m prepared, I don’t normally worry about it, I just go out, do my thing, try to connect, and do the best I can. Sometimes though, they still creep up.
Take today for example. Today has a couple of firsts in store for me. It will be my first house concert, where I will be performing a new song live for the first time. Just to make mattes interesting, I’m on the tail end of a cold that had me communicating by squeeks just a few days ago, and I wasn’t sure if I would have my voice back in time for the show.
If you’ve never been to a house concert, either to watch or to perform, it’s a little different than other venues. Cafes and bars have a lot of background noise, and for the most part, you are treated as a secondary reason to be there by the regulars, at least until you get their attention. Primarily, people are there to socialize, get their fix, etc. At a house concert, you are the focal point, the center of attention, and have no competition. Most hosts discourage using electronic devices during a show, and do all they can to ensure that their guests know how they are expected to behave. Some go so far as to eject distracting visitors, so that their other guests can enjoy the show. No pressure there.
I’m performing tonight, because I submitted a new song to a contest run by the hosts. My song was selected. The stipulation is that tonight must be the first time I perform it live. Normally, I break in new material at open mic nights, so that I’m past any kinks before people are paying to see me. Not so tonight, so the rehearsals have been more extensive. With a tendancy to forget lyrics, I’ve put in a lot of time on this set, so that I can engage the audience, rather than just trying to remember what comes next.
Now there’s not much I can do about being sick. I’ve taken medication, breathed in essential oils, used cough drops, ate right, had vitamin C, had a decent night sleep, and *yuk* drained my sinuses. I’ve rested my voice the last few days, and while I’m not back to normal, I’m a far sight better than Wednesday. At this point, it is what it is. I’m praying for it to stay solid, without breaking throughout my set, and after that, I’ll kick back, and enjoy the other two acts.
As for those butterflies, yeah, they’re still there, but I think they’re just trying to tell me that I’m about to do something really awesome, and to enjoy it.