Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I will not bow! Or will I?

Tonight I performed three original songs, about 10 minutes of music, as part of an arts advocacy concert organized by a young woman from the music school who I know from a course I'm taking this semester called Leadership Strategies for Music Presenters, taught by the dean of the music school. I was originally under the impression that the purpose of the show was to feature performers from outside the music school, and indeed that may have been the original vision, but in reality I was one of only two amateur acts; the other was a string quartet consisting of students from some of the science programs; and they were hardly amateurs.

To be honest, performing was terrifying. I say that knowing that the audience was small, the venue comfortable and the occasion low-stakes. I didn't think I would be so nervous, but in the moment I really got shaken up. I hadn't performed in a "recital" since college, 10 years ago, although I have played before an audience, though, at a couple weddings since then. Those occasions were also terrifying, come to think of it. Maybe I don't like playing the piano in front of people! Good to know.

I do like feedback, though, and sharing personal things, so that was my motivation. It's an odd proposition to play original songs for an audience. I've been writing songs since I was about 9, and there are several dozen I've done as an adult that I like, so which ones should I select? Which ones are the most "me"? To steal language commonly reserved for the designers on "Project Runway," what do I feel really represents who I am as an artist?

But I chose. It was a good evening, and I was glad that some friends came out for support. Friendly faces are nice to see in an audience.

I think I've made some awfully good friends at SOM. But there are still some people I don't know. To correct that, I've been setting up some coffee chats with classmates whose paths I never really crossed. My first one was this week, with a girl named Michelle who comes after me in alphabetical order. Therefore, I will be reading her name at commencement. I'd heard about her from time to time, but we were just in different cohorts, classes, clubs and social circles, so somehow I never met her.

Anyway, I was grateful she accepted my somewhat bizarre invitation. Inspired by how well that went, I then invited the person before me in alphabetical order, who I also haven't met. We're having coffee tomorrow.

FYI, there are about 230 people in my class. So it's not totally criminal that there are still people I haven't met. But I have a few more weeks to make a dent.

No comments:

Post a Comment