I played my first Nashville show last Sunday.
Biggest takeaway: know what I’m signing myself up for before committing. I contacted a pretty popular venue in town, 12th & Porter, about getting into a lineup there. They replied back and let me know that they had openings in their lounge in the afternoon. I decided that “some show” is better than “no show.” I booked the show.
After the show my friends all encouraged me and let me know that I did really well and sounded great. The kicker was the following:
- It was in a restaurant
- I was just kind of set up in the corner, not on a real stage, and not with stage speakers
- The only people that came (to the restaurant) were the friends I invited
I’m not opposed to playing dinky shows with no pay. I understand that I have to start somewhere and “pay my dues,” so to speak. But to play somewhere and not have any potential new fans is almost a waste of time.
All that to say, 1) I need to know what I’m committing to, but, more importantly, 2) I’m so thankful for such outstanding friends I’ve already made here. I had friends who came early, stayed the whole time, and gave me great encouragement and feedback despite my perceived failure of the show.
Any opportunity I get to play in front of people is an opportunity to learn and grow, and I’ll never know if any of the servers there have any connections to other people that may be interested in my music. Although I’m disappointed that the show didn’t meet my expectations, I’m thankful for the opportunity to perform (which is what I live for) and for outstanding friends who continue to prove their character.
Other than the show last Sunday, I’ve been working a ton. Between serving gelato, fixing iPhones, and freelancing graphics, I’ve had minimal time to line up shows and record new demos. I’m hoping that changes soon. A friend of mine has agreed to do booking for me, so that seems to be promising for new shows around town. I’m slowly making connections with people I work with to get in as an opener on local shows, but those of you who know me know how much I dislike promoting myself, so that process is taking a while :)
Photo taken by Joel Evers | @joelgonewild