My stunning beams of light and joy: first things first, new video:
So cute, right?!?
Alright, shows! I played two shows on December 5th!
First I did the Green Bean Holiday Bash, which was VERY cute and fun. A cool event where kids can get glitter tattoos, animal stickers, make their own pickles, make tea bags, and get a photo with the famous "Mr. Green Bean."
You better believe Gordon and I got multiple pictures with that bean of a man! I played some kid's songs, some holiday songs, and my usual family-friendly set of oldies and recognizable tunes. I wore my veggie vest, banana earrings, and candy cane necklace.
The kiddos didn't seem to care too much that someone was singing near them (some were full-on screaming while they played) but there was a lot of stimulation, lots of fun things to do! So who can blame them. I was just kind of the background music <3
Overall I had a great time, got some cool goodies, and everyone at the event was super nice and only had wonderful things to say afterwards! Gordon was my hero, carrying the equipment and setting everything up, taking 1/8th as long as it would have taken me. He even joined me for a set! So I am very grateful to have him, he helps me SO much without ever complaining. Such a fricken trooper. Here are the famous photos:
My chins are IN the building!
Then we drove right up from Tribeca to Tarrytown (making a pit stop to pick up #1 fan, Shannon) for the next gig. We had a nice dinner with Gordon's parents beforehand and honestly, I was KIND of nervous before this show. I usually don't get too nervous, but it was a good turnout, and it's always a little intimidating to be sharing songs I wrote. These people who knew nothing about me were about to know A LOT about me, very soon. I was also very cold, which makes me trembly and nervous on its own.
I performed with two other songwriters, Jim Keyes and Miyuki Furtado. They are seasoned pros who have been doing this for a while, so I was definitely the new kid. I held my own though. I started strong with "California" and eased into the super personal stuff. I got slightly less nervous as the night went on, but since we took turns doing a song each, I couldn't help getting butterflies every time I knew I was next. Like when you have to read out loud in class and you know your turn is coming and you just forget what words sound like and psych yourself out.
The difference between this show at W@tercooler and the Green Bean gig is vast. One involved singing covers in a bright room while everyone talked and kids played and people had distractions. This was a room full of 30 or more paid audience members, sitting and giving their full attention for two hours, as I sang my own songs about heartbreak, insecurity, and homesickness. It's very vulnerable, and at times feels like some strange group therapy. Sharing your darkest, meanest, often ugliest feelings in the form of a song that you made up. Hoping they don't hate it. Hoping at least someone knows what you mean.
So yeah it's scary. But it feels great, and the applause after some of my really intense songs gave me the feeling that I'm not alone in this. That I affected this audience in some way, or they wouldn't hoot like that. That's a really cool feeling.
And the feedback I got from these strangers during the middle and end of the show was really fun and interesting to hear. I noticed most of the men who came up to talk about my music wanted to make it clear that I wrote mean songs about boys, and that if they were the ones dating me, they'd constantly be scared that a mean song was coming.
But here's the thing, if you treat someone nicely, they don't write mean songs about you.
And would they have said this to a man?
But I get it, it's a joke, Taylor Swift complex, who's she gonna write about next? blah blah blah. These guys were coming from a well-meaning place. They may just be used to hearing ladies sing exclusively about nice, pleasant things.
The women, on the other hand, had a totally different reaction! Not one of them said my songs or words were "mean" but instead they just REALLY related to them, and had clearly experienced these feelings of hostility or flat-out indifference toward dudes in their life. They said my songs were "so real" and that "the first one is totally what I'm going through right now" and "that other thing happens all the time!"
I thought that was very intriguing. But in general, everyone I spoke to said I had a great voice and some really meaningful songs. Two young women at the end of the night wanted to buy my CD and unfortunately I had to tell them it's still in the works.
I mean, I could sell my little demos that I've been giving out, but I really want the quality to be top-notch if people are paying for them! That was cool though. That they wanted my CD.
I had two MORE gigs in the last week as well! I'm on a roll this month. I played at CityView Racquet Club Lounge for the second time. I did some Christmas tunes and some songs with Gordon. And then we got to hang out, enjoy the views of Manhattan, and deeply appreciate the buffet and open bar. Not a bad life.
This past Friday was one of my toughest and most interesting gigs yet! I took a train to Greenwich Connecticut to play during lunch at an elementary school. I guess they call it "cultural cafe" and the idea is to introduce them to new instruments and new types of music. So for three hours (That's right. Three. Hours.) I gave some history on the ukulele and sang kid's songs and holiday songs. The kids ate in 30 minute blocks and rotated through.
Three hours is a very long time. Have you every played an instrument for three hours straight? Or sang for three hours straight? I hadn't until Friday. I wasn't sure if I could handle it, but guess what: I can handle it!! My muscles were tense and my fingers were calloused and sore, but I did it! Most of the kids in most of the grades enjoyed the music! There were a lot of requests, and a lot of hand raising to tell me stories about how one time they made a snowman.
It was definitely exciting and those kids really kept me on my feet. Pretty much every gig I've done has thrown me curveballs and turned out different than I'd anticipated. But the chaos is kind of fun, and I can just improv my way through!
Alright, is that everything?
I have a jazz singer gig at a home in California on December 21st. I think it'll be fun! My bass player played for Rosemary Clooney! And some other legends! I'll post pics after that one.
In non-gig news, I'm going HOME this Saturday! I get to go to California again! For the first time in almost 6 months! Oh how I miss it. I'm going to finally meet my adorable-beyond-words niece, Juliette, and see the rest of my giant family and.....beach. I will go to the beach. I'm very excited.
Stay tuned for updates on the album, and as always...
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And stay cool, you little cucumbers.