I had a gig this weekend for a benefit run for The Forgotten Foundation, which is a great group of people doing some really great things!
A friend asked me to play some music for the event and I gladly accepted! I practiced my songs and threw in some hymns that would be familiar to many people, but I did not think about what I would say during the breaks between all these songs.
I have this thing about me, if you put an instrument in my hand, I cannot stop playing it. But, if you put a microphone in front of me, I clam up and struggle to say anything.
I wonder sometimes if other musicians have trouble with what to say, or how to preface a song before they sing it. With instrumental music, a song may have a particular meaning to me, but to someone else it may be quite a bit different. This makes it difficult to know what to share before I play it.
I think that deep down, even though I want to share my music with people, I have a bit of stage fright. It’s not bad or wrong; it’s just something I have to work on. I have always really enjoyed smaller venues, because I like the intimacy of those types of shows, but being so close to a person who is right in front of you and is watching your hands move and your feet touch different pedals makes me focus too much on the perfection of what I am doing, that I ultimately mess up. It is something that I need to work on; I really enjoy playing, but the pressure that I put on myself is hard for me set aside sometimes.
I really enjoy playing the guitar and writing music, but interacting with people live is one thing that I will have to work on in the coming days. My goal is to connect with people and make them feel like they are a part of the event. I don’t know if it will get easier, but I want to be better at it, and the only way I know how to do that, is to do it. So that means booking more gigs and trying things out as they happen to come.
Have you struggled with this? How have you overcome it, or worked through it? I would love to hear!