Another Gig of Sorts, or, Is It Possible To Be Afraid of a Song?

Monday night I had a Random Acts of Music shoot with local artist and up-and-comer Zach, a nice kid with lots of talent who puts on a great show as a solo act – I need to see him with his band sometime.

Anyway, before he arrived, it fell to me to provide a source of noise for the sound check. So I picked up Henry J’s Ovation and started going through some of my songs. And the funny thing is that there was nary a bit of stagefright in my veins. I played Going to Texas #4, Red Riding Hood, and Three Fingered Mickey, all without so much as a tremor.

So I decided to whip through The Santa Claus Song, and guess what? The nerves came back. Not as bad as they had been the night of the taping, but still enough to make its presence known.

I finished and switched to Wish I Were. Nothing. I was fine.

Now the wise-in-the-ways-of-music Henry J says that you don’t really know a song until you’ve played it in front of an audience. I haven’t coffeehoused any of the songs I played for the sound check, but Henry has heard everything but Wish I Were, which means I’ve sort of played all of those songs for an audience.

(Incidentally, my nervousness during the taping of The Santa Claus Song caused me to improvise a bit during the playing, including the addition of a silent beat before going into the chorus. After hearing it, I kind of liked it, so I kept it. Henry was right about playing a song out, but that still doesn’t explain why it makes me nervous.)

Conclusion? I wasn’t sure what to think. Maybe I’m scared of the song. Or maybe there’s still some subconscious apprehension behind the song because I haven’t played it as much as some of the others just because it is a Christmas song.

Well, I’ll keep thinking about it. Or maybe not. Maybe that’s the whole problem. Well, I’ll try playing the song throughout the year and see what happens.

There was one other thing that came out of the sound check. After we finished taping with Zach, Henry decided to let our intrepid intern, Amanda, try her hand at running the camera. And he decided that I should have some more practice at performing in front of a camera. So I grabbed his Ovation and performed Going to Texas #4, accompanied by the HJ himself on egg shaker and sound and light man Bob Felmly on tambourine. Great fun, and a much easier shoot than before. But maybe it was the song.

Also, I did Texas for a reason. It it an important part of Evolution, an unfinished page in the Writing section of this blog. He’s going to edit the song (I flubbed a couple of places that he’s going to fix so I actually look competent) and post it on YouTube so I can imbed it as part of the exhibit. Look for that to post soon.

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