I had a gig this past weekend. Who doesn’t love that word, gig? It smacks of beat up guitars, spilled beer, spontaneous dancing, and a few bucks in your pocket if you’re lucky. For some of us, who generally find themselves writing solo with an audience whose laughter you will never hear, it is really quite the experience to perform what was hatched in the dark on a computer screen to a real, live set of eyeballs staring at you.
Performing your writing makes you paranoid about every word and self-doubt creeps up on you like fog. You begin to ask, will this sound stupid? of every line you’re thinking of speaking. But perhaps this exercise in self-doubt makes you a better editor; you cut the weak ones out in the hopes your images will ‘hit the back of the theatre’ as my old acting teacher used to say.
I had the privilege of performing with the great Carolyn Mark so that really makes a girl’s job a lot easier. Having 8 musicians backing you up however, can be a little unnerving as I realized they were not quite as picky as I was about stops and starts between lines, stanzas, breath because it wasn’t directly attached to a song. Nevertheless, it sure sounded great when it came together and it’s made me start to wonder about writing with more music in mind.
For this solo writer, it was good to get out into the light for a change, dust off the vocal chords, and sing for my supper.