Open Mic Nite!?! OMG!!!

I am scared to death!

Since I reported earlier that I aspire to be a performing musician, I joined a “meetup” group for acoustic guitarists last week hoping that I’d simply hook up with a few folks who just casually get together and “jam” informally. 

Nothing structured.  No particular pressure.  A chance to crawl before I walk … walk before I run, etc.

Instead, I got an invitation to attend an open-mic nite that takes place weekly alternating between a local bar and a coffeehouse.

… Yikes!

This is all very sudden!  A bit thrilling, but more than a little intimidating. 

After all, it’s been at least three decades since I’ve performed for an audience not made up of members of my family.  In fact, I’ve been my own audience for much of the past 30 years.    Sometimes I’ve been very happy with what I’ve heard while other times I’ve figuratively booed myself off the stage. 

While I know how to play and I know how to sing and I’ve been working hard the past couple of months to shake off the rust, nothing about me right now is particularly polished.  Lord knows how I’ll react to getting in front of a bunch of strangers and to putting myself on the line so abruptly.

It is sort of like the feeling I had when I signed up for my public speaking class a few months ago.   I wanted to do it badly because I needed to expose myself to the pressure and to get used to speaking in public. 

This seems like a quantum leap past mere public speaking.

With mixed emotions … equal doses of both exhilaration and apprehension … I plan to tote my guitar into that bar tonight and just see where it leads.

Maybe I’ll just sit and watch tonight.  You know, sort of gauge the action.  Play it by ear, as they say.  See what other people do and measure myself against them before jumping right in.

Or maybe I’ll throw caution to the wind, and just say to heck with it … I’m not getting any younger …  If not now … then WHEN?

I dunno … We’ll see.

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About Judson

Late bloomer ... aspiring writer and musician.
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10 Responses to Open Mic Nite!?! OMG!!!

  1. Open Mic Night… Congratulations on taking both the Music Open Mic Night and the Public Speaking challenges. To hear that you’ve found a way to get around one of the most terrifying experiences most people can think of (public speaking), is most impressive.

    Now, may I make a suggestion to up the ante a bit? As you are obiviously a writer (I’ve commented before here about you taking the plunge with pen or keyboard), consider using that same MeetUp service to find a writing group that does Open Mic Nights.

    Learning to read your own work in public, much like performing music (especially if it is of your own composition), is a bit stressful, but it grows you in amazing ways. (I get the idea that you are already feeling stronger from your decisions).

    Forgive me for this (I don’t typically add links to my own blog in a comment, but I trust this one is appropriate, and makes sense). This link is to a multi-part series on how to prepare for, and perform at an Open Mic Night for writers. I hope you find it as useful as others have:
    http://uphillwriting.org/2010/02/19/facing-the-firing-squad/ (Oh, and the unfortunate title shouldn’t put you off.) (grin)

  2. Judson says:

    Richard —

    What a great idea. I will search for one asap. Honestly, I’d never heard of “meetup” at all until a week or so ago. It’s a pretty fascinating concept with a world of possibilities. Thanks for another great suggestion!

    — Judson

  3. territerri says:

    Good luck!

    If it were me, I’d find a way to numb the fear a bit. Probably with a couple of beers.

    • Judson says:

      Terri …

      LOL, that almost goes without saying. I just have to be careful. there is a point where I begin to sound great to myself and nobody else. It’s the auditory version of “beer goggles” … 🙂

  4. nrhatch says:

    Just do it!
    One song.
    What’s the worst that can happen? 😀

    Good luck!
    Let us know what how you made out.

  5. Judson says:

    Well, I just got back home, and I did it! TWO stiff bourbons led to ONE quick run through “Melissa” by Greg Allman. I managed to clear the cobwebs and the butterflies simultaneously. The audience of 20-25 folks was kind and luckily there were no Simon Cowell’s in the room … I was pretty nervous and it showed. But, by golly, I got up there and did it! It can only get better from here!

  6. nrhatch says:

    Good for you, Judson! One song at a time . . .

    Enjoy! 😀

  7. Pingback: Join the 7 Links Challenge « Spirit Lights The Way

  8. crumbl says:

    Good for you, Judson. I can play, and I can sing a little bit, but open mic night? Not gonna happen. I admire your courage.

    Like you, in my youth, I was on stage. Not anymore, I’ve been coerced into karaoke a few times, but I try to avoid it. Public speaking … gutsy … did you know public speaking came first on the fear list, and death came third?

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