or …. It’s My Gig and I’ll Cry If I Want To.
I am a big believer in The Universe. And I do believe The Universe (feel free to name it what you will) does speak to us regularly. We just have to choose to listen. Or at least pay attention. But really, how many of us are so absorbed in the minutiae of daily living that we forget to notice the signs? Read them? Interpret them?
My beau however, the scientist, the guy who (due to his methodical nature) may not be so inclined to subscribe to Universe mumbo-jumbo, reminded me just yesterday that The Universe was speaking loud and clear to me. And perhaps I should listen.
You see, on Sunday night I sang a little jazz at The Lowville Bistro, a wonderful, intimate, friendly establishment that has been my musical home for many years now. I used to be quite a regular there, performing with different trios every second Sunday. Now it is just a sporadic arrangement, with me showing up perhaps twice a year. But my fantastically faithful friends/fans still come. And they engage. They listen. They applaud. They appreciate. They laugh. They make me feel like I am doing something right. They are amazing.
The problem is me. Whether it’s hormones or thin skin or just old age, I find this outpouring of love to be overwhelming. Especially when I sing one of my all-time favorites – Moon River, the song that typically closes the night.
So there I was on Sunday night, warbling my final notes and thanking (personally) every one there (oh how I love the staff and the patrons) and my two regular band-mates have just performed beautifully and my old friend T has shown up to offer breathtaking vocals and side-splitting comedy and then my old sax-man C shows up – JUST TO SIT IN.
Yep, not to make money or further his own successful career but just to sit in for the last set because he wants to. And it’s not like he lives next door or anything. It’s not like he doesn’t have a beautiful pregnant wife waiting at home. He comes because he misses playing with me and he wants to sit in.
And then … because these two incredible musicians have shown up and shared their substantial talents FOR FREE, I put out the brandy snifter and suggest (light-heartedly) that perhaps just maybe the grateful audience might show these boys some love. You know – financial love.
And my fantastically faithful fans/friends do not disappoint. My two guests end up earning as much as the rest of us. Deservedly so.
So yeah, there I am mooning and rivering and thanking and gosh darn don’t I start to cry like some blubbering idiot and I can’t even talk anymore much less finish the song. So I hit myself over the head with my mic a few times, sputter and croak, wipe my snotty nose and say goodnight. To all these beautiful people who aren’t even mad that I didn’t even actually sing the last song.
Yes. I am a heart-on-my-sleeve kinda gal. Especially when I’m singing music that stirs me to my soul. But I also like to count myself a professional. You know, somebody who can sing instead of cry.
Maybe just not anymore.
So I say to the wonderfully kind and supportive manager R, I say You know what? I can’t do this anymore. I just get too emotional. It takes too much of a toll on me. I just can’t …
And I actually mean it.
And then my beau and I come home and put my band gear in the basement for the first time. It’s been living in my brand new outdoor shed (easier access) but my beau has decided that it should live indoors. And since he doesn’t mind lugging it around, I agree. Down it goes.
24 hours later we hear a loud “bang” in the back yard and lo and behold, the shed’s (new) roof has collapsed under the weight of a crazy winter’s worth of wet snow. Imploded, so to speak. My bicycle is mangled. Our small outdoor bistro table is smashed. But other than that it’s just cushions and garden tools because Oh My Universe all my band gear is safely nestled in the basement.
Yes there is a point to this blog and there it is. The Universe (according to my scientist) was sending me a message LOUD AND CLEAR. The gear is safe. And dry. And ready to be used again. Because Vickie, you will sing again.
I guess so. I do love to sing and I am blessed to make music with some of the finest musicians on this planet. So I won’t give up, hormonal emotions be damned. I will show up when asked, sing my heart out and be grateful for the opportunity to do so. Very grateful.
But Universe or no Universe, I can’t guarantee I won’t cry.
Please bring Kleenex.