The moments that make up “being a musician” can add up to a pretty hilarious montage over time. My encounters may be unique to some of those you may have had..with odd creatures in bars, restaurants, and all kinds of venues…but I have a feeling there are a few musicians out there who will be able to identify with some of these stories. So without further adieu…
The first time I ever played in front of anyone other than a couple friends was in front of my 300 high school peers. I was so nervous, I don’t remember anything I said. All I remember is 300 faces looking at my face. I whole-heartedly hated the experience. That’s where it all began. I am apparently a masochist. Cause I haven’t stopped and it’s ten years later.
There is no such thing as a singer-song/writer who has never forgotten the words to their own song. I once had a show with 100+ people, and as I was about to start the next song on the set list, couldn’t even remember the strum pattern of quite possibly the simplest song I’ve ever written. Stage fright took away everything I’d ever known about music.
It took probably 30 seconds of silent panic and coaching from my bandmate before I could start the song while the crowd just watched me. It felt like an hour.
I once had a fan publicly tell me what color underwear I had been wearing on stage the day after a show on Facebook. They were green, apparently. Thanks for that.
One night, playing all originals with my full band, to my surprise a few girls came up to tell me (whilst I was still singing) that they were really enjoying it…….buuut just wanted to ask if I could play any Brittany Spears songs so that they could dance.
There is apparently no inappropriate place for people to ask, nay publicly pressure you to sing acapella once they find out that you sing….starring at you as if to say “if you don’t sing right now you don’t actually sing”…
Therefore my competitive nature has led me to sing in a room where I was: training for a job, at a valet station waiting for my car, in airports, in a bank etc… simply because a stranger asked me to..
My favorite line guys use around Nashville is “we should write together”
At which moment they should follow up with the truth: “I don’t actually know your name yet, but ….
I see your boyfriend next to you, but I’m still gonna say it, let’s write together…
I know you have’t heard me play or seen any of my writing and I have given you no reason to think I’m talented or not a mass murderer for that matter, but hey, let’s write together, stranger. wink wink…
And here’s my business card.”
When people say they’re coming to your show, there is approximately a 10% chance of them actually being at your show.
I once had a girl walk up to my table in a bar and ask for my autograph…I was ecstatic… 2 minutes when I got up to leave, she also caught me giddy-dancing and high fiving my friends. It kinnnda took away from the cool of the moment…
Conversely, I once waited for 3 hours to play in an empty hotel lounge writers round.
A handful of times, my name has actually been spelled correctly on a sign outside/inside a venue billboard.
When being introduced to a crowd, I am almost always “Lee Ann( ) Culp”…so I ask you, is it more rude to not take the time learn the performers name before introducing them, or more rude for me to correct them immediately into the mic after they say it wrong?
I once heard someone sing an entire song about how they were conceived.
I watched a girl cry-sing about a break up while playing the keyboard..in between she was pounding vodka tonics, but an impressive sight none the less.
Guys should never need an accompaniment in order to sing a song. You need to learn an instrument, my friend. Call me sexist, but I know everyone else is thinking it too.
Very recently, I was singing on stage, and the table directly in front of me (like 5 feet from me) brought out a lit birthday cake and started loudly singing “Happy Birthday” while I was still going.
I stopped. Sang along, and returned to the spot in my song I was in prior to their perfectly rude timing.
Someone tipped me and my loft-mates over $200 at a writer’s round once. It was like we had won the power ball lottery.
People in Nashville shoot their business cards out of their sleeves like it’s Spider man’s webbing…to absolutely anyone who will take them.
If you’re a female musician, people will ask you your age at any moment they think of it. Including while you’re playing.
If you’re staring at someone on a stage, they can actually seeee you. My eyes see your eyes.
Hi kind bar tender, don’t throw bottles every 20 seconds into the garbage. It’s the loudest noise by far in the entire bar. I want to scream at you so hard.
So I ask you, my friends, where do the egotistical musicians come from? Cause this stuff is as humbling as it gets. Don’t get me wrong, it’s continuously hysterical to me, but these things are not the things that create the mongo-ego-driven rock stars that we see so often. There’s this whole group of us who really know what it’s like to be on the way up (well we hope we are) and appreciate the great moments, because there are some tough ones along the way.
But like my Dad always said, “Sometimes ya gotta laugh to keep from crying.”
Cheers to my hard working artists and musicians, especially in Nashville. You are all my favorite entertainers on the planet. Let’s keep our sense of humor this year ;0)
Happy New Year!by