A few years back one of my resolutions for the new year was to play in public cause what are they gonna do if I’m terrible? I’m playing for free anyway.
Played a new place for me in town last week. There is a procedure to follow and the first thing one has to do is to find the sign in sheet because if you don’t you’ll end up having to hang around all night waiting for your 15 minutes of quasi fame.
I find the sheet, sign in and the mc of sorts says the ” M” word as in ” Do you MIND if I sit in on your set?” In Open Mic world one generally gets invited to sit in, one does not invite one’s self to sit in.
I mumble something about liking to work alone, make a polite face like I’ve just smelled a bad smell and try to become instantly invisible. It doesn’t work.
The guy says he has a harmonica that might be in the key of E, has some sort of percussion drum and a Native American flute that could be in the key of F sharp minor. Maybe if I’m lucky he’ll play all three at the same time. No matter, I do my set, get a generally good response and having now learned to take compliments graciously I smile a lot and head back to my seat.
Once again I am clearly the oldest person in the room but no matter since music is the universal language that crosses all barriers. There are some really good performers who are on the cusp of being professional musicians. And there are some performers who are not. I’m somewhere in between.
A couple of kids giggle through their set and that’s really ok because they have found the real reason to play – releasing the inner joy they find in music and performing.
Music is not not some sacred third rail that can only be approached and and appreciated by those who think they are in the know. Music doesn’t care.
While there are some forms of music I don’t really care for I leave my judgements at the door and the sign up sheet.
The sign up sheet turns over, anyone who wants can have another go but I decline deciding not to push my luck at this first time venue. Next week might be a different story.