4 Life Lessons from My First 4 Performances

1. Tailgating for Joseph | A performance can be for one person, or just for the world, the animals, the plants. It's not about how many people you have in your crowd, it's about how open you are, how much you're giving and letting music flow through you, not for yourself but for whoever is listening. Performing can be considered a synonym of gift giving. LESSON: You have a gift. Now give it.

2. 8th Street Bellevue | When you perform, you're the one who is reaching out your hand. Sometimes, nobody will stop to even look at you. Keep reaching out your hand because you're leading the way. Maybe one day, someone will reach back and connect. LESSON: Someone has to be first. Be first. 

3. Queen Anne Farmer's Market | It's just noise. If you start to get nervous, focus on the kids in the crowd or the world around you. They have no judgement, just pure pleasure in the sounds you're making and the probably want to join in. If there are no kids, remember that every adult around you has an inner child that is probably feeling timid to come out and play and you can set an example for them, invite them to come out of their shells with courage, just the way you are as you sing before them. LESSON: We're all just kids inside and we're all just here to make noise and have fun with it.

4. The Gorge Orchards | I drove two hours to sing to a thousand apple trees (and maybe some Mexican farm workers). In the scorching sun of Eastern Washington, I stood and sang for over an hour, pushing myself to sing louder...louder....louder!! With wide open sky my voice was absorbed into space, the comforting echo/reverb/reflection to let me hear myself. No matter how loudly I sang, my voice felt weak, but I kept singing. I grew frustrated and discouraged that my voice didn't sound good. Maybe I was experiencing heat stroke but I had thoughts like "Who are you kidding, you're no where near good enough to sing at the Gorge. Listen to your voice. It's not powerful enough." But I kept singing until I was exhausted and even though it sucked, I knew it was the best I had to offer. LESSON: Don't stop until you know you've done your very best and then be okay with whatever that is.

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