Open Mic Night

Last week I went to inspect an open mic that I knew was happening. I ended up running into someone from my program in university, which was cool; I’d seen her perform at coffee houses a couple years ago and she seemed awesome, so it was nice to actually meet her. She said she often comes to this place, so I was both happy I’d see her again, and anxious because I knew it would make performing more difficult; I wanted to perform to a completely random audience, for self-preservation’s sake.

But oh well. I called up a guy I play music with sometimes, and asked if he wanted to do a couple songs. He came over yesterday, and we prepared “Just a Boy” by Angus and Julia Stone, and “9 Crimes” by Damien Rice. It was fine. I practised a bit today, got the notes I couldn’t hit at first, and was good to go.

This was the first time I sang publicly, I’m pretty sure. There was no mic at the open mic (…), and my friend plays really loud and gets intense, so I was completely drowned out. I tried to sing louder but in doing so, I forced my voice and hit some wrong notes. It sucked, at least in my head. My piano was fine, though. I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as I thought, which was also what my friend told me. He played a couple songs of his own, which were amazing. The girl from my program told us the timbre of our voices sounded good together, but I have a feeling she just wanted to say something. Haha.

But I don’t really care! The loudness wasn’t really my fault, and neither was the fact that when I’m nervous, my throat constricts. Also, when I’m nervous in front of audiences, I think I sabotage myself. It ends up being bad because I expect it to be. I think it’s because I subconsciously want to hit rock bottom, so that anything afterwards is a step up. I mean, I don’t want to be nervous in front of audiences forever, and if it went well, I’d reinforce the anxious behaviour! I guess by having good experiences from the get-go, the anxiety would disappear. But what happens when you take a nosedive after so many good experiences? Twenty years later, you’re at rock bottom and you think it’s the end, because you’ve never had to build from zero.

Fucked up way to look at it, but whatever. I always take the long way around. Now that I know that sucking isn’t the end of the world, I’m not afraid for it to happen again. Sucking is kind of boring though, so not sucking as much next time would be good.

I’m happy I did it. I just need to make sure I make “next time” happen soon because last time I played in front of an audience (at a WEDDING), the same thing happened: I was rendered fearless and incredibly excited to perform more… but I waited too long. So I need to take advantage of this “no fear” thing, and start making good things happen. Random audience la prochaine fois, I hope.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Open Mic Night

  1. I sabotage myself too with different things. Believing it’ll go wrong tends to make it go wrong but I can’t make myself think positive!

    • bbbberries

      Hi atlas,

      I find myself being more and more comfortable in situations that would have made me uncomfortable not so long ago–this is the result of a combination of exposure and of inner work. I’ve found Morty Lefkoe helpful in correcting self-sabotage–he’s all about eliminating limiting beliefs. He might be of interest to you! Check out this link: http://www.mortylefkoe.com/120809/.

      • Thank you, I checked out the link, what he has to say makes a lot of sense. Gives me something to work on!
        I find the situations in which I sabotage myself the most are when I’m getting involved with someone. It’s not about my comfort level, it’s that I’ve failed at several things throughout my life, now I expect to fail a lot of the time. Not a good feeling but I’m slowly learning to take control of it. Thanks again for the link, and I like how your About page states that you are terrified of being naked and that you are braving the fear. Good for you. (:

      • bbbberries

        Thank you! Also, I’m curious, how did you find the connection from that blog to this one? I’m still pretty much a noob.

      • bbbberries

        Oh, I think I figured it out. Feel free to explore that one too–I just want them to be separate. 🙂

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