THE SHOW MUST GO ON
I had a big private show the other night, a Vegas styled gala at the Del Mar Race Track. It was fabulous.
The day didn’t start out so fabulous, though. I woke up that morning with pink eye, adding insult to injury as I was already experiencing hearing loss in my left ear due to recent sinus surgery. Then, an unexpected email arrived and my mind became completely occupied with composing a reply while trying to stay focused on getting ready for the night.
Throughout the day, as I was writing my talking parts, memorizing outstanding lyrics, warming up my voice, packing up every pertinent detail that makes a show run (from sound equipment to extra earring backings), my mind, my eyes, my ears, were partially checked out. But the show had to go on.
I didn’t hire a roadie – because my equipment is an “easy” two loads to the car. Except when it’s raining, slippery and you’re dead tired. Not glam, at all. Kind of made me sad for a minute.
So I donned my armor: heavy make-up, extra long “goddess” hair, short sequined dress, flashy high heels, fishnet stockings and sparkly nails, and headed out the door.
It was show time.
Every performance is different. Sometimes people are there to really listen, and you experience incredible symbiosis with the audience.
With other performances, you are dinner entertainment – and you feel like maybe no one is paying any attention at all. Oftentimes, knowing the songs, you still forget the lyrics, the band messes up and all your hear over the floor in front of you is the “clink and clank” of dishes and a jumble of conversations. But you stand tall and poised in your sparkly armor, goddess like, and go on singing your heart out.
Last night was one of those dinner shows. And just when I thought that’s all it was, magic happened.
After I walked off the stage, to quietly have my dinner, countless people started to come up to me the rest of the night to say the most beautiful and sincere words of “thank you” and to compliment the music and the effort we took with our band and my guest singer. And there was the wait staff, who mothered me: kept my dinner warm after everyone else was done, re-filled my glass of wine after every few sips, while chatting away.
People did hear the music, with their hearts. I learnt an important lesson that night: you don’t always have to stop what you are doing to have music enter your heart. And for me, as a musician, real accolades are now not necessarily measured in the volume of the clapping, but in the number of hearts you’ve touched that night.
And the show must always go on.