Tuesday, November 16, 2010
So Nervous! AH!
On Sunday night, one of my new hipster friends from downstairs messaged me on Facebook to see if I could play an opening set at their show tonight. I guess their other opener bailed and they needed somebody last minute. I've been wanting to try doing a solo show, so I said "yes." I spent all day yesterday trying to assemble a set list. The show is in about eight hours. I'm freaking out here a little bit.
Once I get on that stage, I'm sure I'll be fine. But right now, I'm a nervous wreck. I could barely sleep last night. Aside from belting out three songs in the restaurant on Halloween, I've never done a show all by myself before. And tonight, I've got a whole 30-45 minutes to entertain an audience with just me, myself, and my keyboard. Just thinking about it makes me pee my pants a little bit.
My friends from the commune are all really excited for me. A lot of them are coming to the show for moral support. Sometimes I get really freaked out when people I know and love show up to watch me perform, but it's kinda comforting knowing that I'll have a small army of hippies/hipsters in the audience that will get drunk and cheer anyway if I do a terrible job.
I was so anxious last night that I didn't really know what to do with myself. I was trying to practice a lot, but I was being too critical of myself and it was becoming counterproductive. I drifted in and out of the kitchen, distracting myself with the presence of others and making tea in attempts to calm down. At one point, I announced I was going to bed and had every intention of sleeping, but ended up dominating a giant piece of cake instead. Oops.
It was a bit after midnight when I went back to the kitchen to destroy the evidence of the cake. The Chef was in there with all of the lights off, reading the paper and eating cereal in a corner.
"Lauren! How are you doing, girl?" he says, smiling warmly.
"I'm doing okay. A bit nervous about tomorrow night," I say.
"Aw, Lauren, you don't need to be nervous. This is what you're going to do: You're going to stop worrying about everything, you're going to go there, you're going to bring your beautiful little soul in there and get up on that stage and do whatever the hell you wanna do and it's going to be great. Just tell your story and make your music and have some fun. And kick ass. Yeah, kick ass! Just kick it. You have my permission. Just be your bad ole self and KICK SOME SERIOUS ASS, GIRL!"
At this point in the pep talk, The Poet enters the room. He had witnessed my neurotic pre-show antics in the kitchen earlier. "You're still freaked out?" he says.
"Oh completely!" I say.
"Why? We've been over this - you're a rock star!" he says.
"Yeah, you just need to kick some ass," The Chef chimes in.
They both look at me. I'm smiling now but I'm sure I still looked like an incredible ball of nervousness. The Poet gets a smirk on his face and lowers his voice.
"Do you need drugs? Because we can totally set you up..."
The Chef nods knowingly in agreement, then takes another bite of cereal.
I laugh. "Thanks, but I think I'm good with tea tonight, guys."
I went to bed eventually, then woke up this morning in a fit of "What-am-I-gonna-WEAR?!" I'm still not really sure what I'm going to wear. Probably the standard skinny jeans with something black on top. I've got some pretty outlandish things in my closet that I've dubbed my "performance attire," but I don't think a pub down in the hipster part of Portland is the place to pull that stuff out.
Anyway, I've got tons more to write about (you better believe it was a crazy weekend...dancing and car problems and hipsters - oh my!), but I should go practice a little bit more and take my traditional "rock star nap" in preparation for tonight's show. That is, if I can even concentrate on practicing and sleeping in this state of intense pre-show anxiety. Ack.
Over and out, amigos. Tune in tomorrow to hear how the show went.