Nearly every Monday they have a Songwriter's Open Mic night, where upwards of 20 acts take the stage for a couple of songs each. It's a smorgasbord of original music. Folks come from all around, and almost all of them are really good. I've signed up and performed there with my uke, three times so far.
It's positively nerve-wracking. I'm hoping to get better at handling that, but so far I haven't noticed any improvement. My heart starts pounding a couple of acts before I go on. I get through just by focusing tightly on what I'm doing. I play my songs and feel grateful for the opportunity, and even though I invariably feel like I'm not even in the same league as the other performers, it's a thrill.
Once a month is about as often as I can manage to do it, and that's what I've been doing, hoping to blitz my nerves and get more confident. But I may slow the pace a little now. This last time I felt like I rushed one of the songs into performance before it was really ready, and it made the whole thing much harder. Ah well, I'm learning.
This last time, my mom was in town so she got to come. Lydia got to come too, even though it was was a school nightthe daylight savings time change worked in her favor. Laura came out to the first one I did, and different friends from the neighborhood have made it out each time too. I think it definitely helps to know they're out there rooting for me, even if it also feels like a little more pressure than playing for people I may never see again. Lydia in particular is an amazing fan to have. I'm one lucky daddy.