Fairfield Town Square
A year ago tomorrow, I went to my first open mic in Austin.
It was not my first time at an open mic by any means, but it was my first in a big city of strangers. Rather than knowing pretty much everyone in the room, which was usually the case in my small hometown, I knew next to nobody. At the time I didn’t know that open mics were going to become a “thing” for me. I didn’t have any goals to get to a certain number of performances, I was just focused on being able to get through my three songs, and do so without throwing up.
It wasn’t very pretty. I tripped over the guitar cords. I knocked my face into the mic. My throat was so dried out from eating almonds right before (note to self, never do that again!) that I actually got to a point that I couldn’t sing, and some kind soul in the audience brought my water bottle over to me so I could continue. But people still clapped and said kind things to me afterward.
After about a week I got my footing. After a few months I realized I could probably hit 100 by Christmas. When I got back from Christmas, getting to 150 seemed pretty reasonable, even with slowing down and taking most of April off for recording.
I just got back to my little hometown on Monday night. They started up an open mic again about 6 months ago and I’m going tonight. That will make 157 open mics and showcase performances in one year. I think it’s great that my last one of the year will be here, on the stage where so many of my heros and heroines inspired me with their performances, to the point where I could no longer ignore the calling.
And here I am, after a year of doing instead of dreaming, wishing, or complaining. (Or maybe to be more accurate, I was doing along with continuing to dream, wish and complain a bit, but the proportions were much, much more balanced!) I’ve got a bunch of stage time under my belt and a recording I’m really proud of. I have a feeling I’m going to be integrating the things I learned more and more the next few months, and there is still more I want to do and learn and get better at. But it feels pretty good to just sit for a minute and say, “Yeah, I did that. Awesome.”