I know some people who don’t have anything outside of work and home. “Hobby” is too light a word, but that’s close to what I mean. “Passion” is closer. They don’t have an outlet. They don’t have any way to touch their own soul and set it free for a while.
And I don’t know how these people do it. How do they make it through a week or a month without…something.
18 years ago, I was still a very young man. I had only been playing guitar for a few years. I had no idea what it was to “play out” and I really had no business trying to do so. But I saw an ad somewhere for a place called Mr. Wonderful’s that had a blues jam on Thursdays. So I called and asked the scruff sounding man who answered about how it worked. “I’m not in a band or anything. Can I still come play?”
Jesus, I was young.
But I went. I stepped to the front of the room and played three songs with the Crossroads Blues Band. There were only about four people in the bar, but it was my first taste of playing for strangers and, for me, it was all about what was happening on stage. It was amazing. I had been happy to noodle in my apartment or play with friends, but to be on a stage and have people paying attention…that was life-changing.
And that was the beginning of my addiction. I would spend all week waiting for Thursday just so I could play my three or four songs with the band. Friday and Saturday were easy to get through. But after the weekend was over, I started to look ahead.
And I still do today. If Monday is a drag, I know that Thursday’s just a couple of days away. I know that if I can make it to Thursday morning at work, that it’s all downhill from there. Even if I only get to play that first set with the band…it’s enough to get me through the week.
So this blog has been about performing as a coping mechanism. I’m going to try to figure out how to write about performing and spiritual health without sounding like a new-age blues hippie. I don’t know if it can be done. Stay tuned…