It’s been 3 months since I’ve taken the time to blog about anything for our website. One of the other hats I’m wearing these days swallowed up my head and pushed all thought unrelated to it way far back into the recesses of my overwhelmed brain. The hat of which I speak was that of conference director for the Folk Alliance Region Midwest’s annual gathering in Grand Rapids. It took place the last weekend of October and by all standards, it was a huge success! I feel pretty good about that, but it sure does take a long time to come back down after such an intense immersion into one undertaking. In fact, before we could come down from FARM we hit the road for Stamford, CT to attend the annual North East Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) conference.
Rod and I have been attending these folk music conferences fairly steadily for the past 12+ years or so and have learned to appreciate the small connections and magical moments – not to mention the friendships – we’ve been lucky enough to experience. As a closet introvert (yes, it’s true, though nobody believes me when I tell them), I find it takes every ounce of energy I have be “on” for an entire weekend just in case you have the chance to talk to some talent buyer in the halls or in line at the breakfast buffet. Have your “elevator pitch” ready and make sure you invite them to your showcase at 2am in the most unnatural of performance settings – a hotel room. Why do we think THIS is when someone will see something in us and decide to book us? Whose idea was this anyway? Guerrilla showcasing in theory is a good plan since only a small number of the artists actually earn an official showcase of any kind. But to think that we are presenting our best selves in a situation we would NEVER actually perform, is ludicrous. And yet, it does happen. We’ve been at this long enough to know that a serious booker may see something in you, though it may take them seeing you play this unnatural setting multiple times before they’re convinced you’re worthy of a booking at their house concert or venue. But it DOES happen. Like everything worthwhile, it takes time.
These days I’m struggling with the search for patience amidst feelings of time whizzing by faster than ever. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone yet we’re pursuing gigs that are several hundred “tomorrows” away. There’s always tomorrow, until there isn’t. But we probably won’t know there won’t be a tomorrow until it doesn’t matter. So why stop going for it? We plan so far ahead, thinking we’ve got ample time to get our act together, yet the gig we booked a year ago seems to creep up out of nowhere. All that practice really does pay off, but at a snail’s pace. A year later, I feel no more worthy of this gig than the day they offered it to us. Why is that? and how did this post take me there? huh. Maybe I’ll figure it out tomorrow.