This past Saturday, I performed in Austin, TX as part of a Soul & Blues music festival at the historic Victory Grill. I was invited to perform about two weeks before the event, but, even with the short notice, I couldn't pass up the opportunity! As fortune would have it, I was already heading to Austin that same weekend for a random vacation with 3 college friends, so this was nothing short of divine planning. Call it serendipity. Call it a miracle. Call it uncanny. It was a welcomed challenge I had to meet.
In the days leading up to the show, I spent every waking moment in my Brooklyn apartment reaching out to the Austin community, scouting musicians, and strategizing how I could pull this performance off. My NY band had various conflicts, so it was up to me alone to make this thing happen. Thankfully, my dedicated/painfully exhausting online promotion got me connected to some very talented and generous people in Austin! Before I knew it, I had a full 5-piece band and a growing list of "YES" RSVPs for an event happening across the country, in a city I'd never performed in.
Challenges are meant to be overcome.
I got to Austin Friday at noon, and from 8pm to midnight that night, me and my new band learned 8 songs, including 6 originals. Ambitious? Yes. Nerve-wracking? Yes. Nonetheless, those are the moments that make life amazing. I've learned to embrace them.
After practice, I met up with my college buddies (remember, I'm on an unrelated vacation with friends, hah) and hung out until about 3am, sober of course. When Saturday rolled around, the only thing in my head was "What will be, will be"...and "Dear God, please help my voice recover from all the singing and shouting I did last night." I wasn't stressed, though. The weather was great. My friends were supportive. I had no expectations. I was just ready to share my music.
On Saturday, it happened.
What an experience. It really made my vacation and advanced me in ways I probably won't be aware of for a while. I just know I'm on the right journey. The gig went so well, in fact, that it looks like I'll be heading back to Austin later this summer ;-).
Live Passionately and Creatively. It's so much better that way.
p.s. My college buddies sing too ;-).