Pre-show Jitters

Well this is it!  Tomorrow is the the CD Release of I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend, a project in the works formally for almost a year and a half, and encompassing songs I’ve written as far back as 10 years ago.  I’ve been coordinating the performers for the evening, helping my mother with planning the food, contacting the Maas Building for last-minute requests, and practicing to make it the best show it can be.  It seems like not a minute goes by where I’m not mentally bookmarking something I need to remember: in the last minute, it was beer and cups.  In the midst of it, it’s almost impossible to concentrate on anything else, and it’s running me down.

Last night, I got a call from my friend Samantha who is playing ukelele at the show.  She was asking about some of the chords in the serenade to Dairyland, but she started the conversation, “Are you excited about the show?”  Her voice sounded genuinely excited, and she told me that she was really looking forward to it.  I, however, realized that I was more worried about it than excited.  I have all these pieces to put together, combined with a desire for perfection.  Sometimes no amount of “well nothing is perfect,” or “just do your best enjoy yourself” is enough to snap me out of it.  But in this case, one “are you excited about the show,” did wonders for me.

I’m not going to stop worrying (not sure that I even could), but I am going to do everything I can to enjoy myself.  I’ve got a CD that’s making waves in the blogging community.  I’m learning more and more about what I can do to be successful in this industry.  I’m improving as a player and a performer.  I have scads of ideas for new songs, such as the girl who preferred to write letters, and the ode to Philadelphia.  I have some fun projects in the works coming up, including a podcast and a class on songwriting and recording.  My life is driven by creative endeavors, and there are days where I feel like the luckiest person alive to be able to explore them.

So even though tomorrow continues to be the opportunity for me to put on the best show I can , I’m also using it to celebrate the confluence of factors that have come together to make me so lucky to be happy.  If you’re in Philadelphia, come out and share in the good food, good music, and good spirit of the occasion.  I hope to see you there!

Dan with arms

Here I am offering free hugs to the first 30 attendees!


6 thoughts on “Pre-show Jitters

  1. brycemoore says:

    One thing I’ve noticed about myself and my writing career (which I imagine might carry over to your musical career) is that I have a hard time appreciating and enjoying success. Not #1 NYT bestselling success–but rather small successes. Finishing a draft. Signing a contract. Having the book actually published.

    The thing is, there’s always a “next step”–always something else for me to worry about. The draft’s done, and now it needs revision. The contract’s signed, and now I need to do my part. The book’s published–how do I make sure it sells? There’s always something, and it can be really easy to forget what the dream was in the first place.

    Three years ago, if someone had asked me what I’d do the day I finally had my first book come out, I’m sure I wouldn’t have said “worry about what’s coming next.” And thankfully, it’s not what I did. I took some time to relish the moment, even if it was just with me and my family.

    I’m really glad you’re doing the release party. And I really hope you enjoy it. There’s always time for worrying later. Sorry I can’t be there for it–I’m sure it will go swimmingly.

    • neonandshy says:

      Thanks for the input, Bryce. One day, far in the future, maybe I’ll learn how to live in the present.

      And you got to go to the coveted prerelease. There will be no cube drafts after this one (though maybe I should).

  2. I completely agree with Bryce. It’s so easy to get hung up on the “what comes next” part that you completely forget to enjoy the “now” part. I do this frequently. Yesterday I finished a draft of a report I had spent many long hours designing in the couple of days prior, and the draft was finished ahead of schedule. Instead of stopping and celebrating that small success, I was already on to what I could fill my time with next.

    It’s hard to be in the present, but I can tell you this. The performances I’ve had for which I was most present were not only the most enjoyable, but they were also the most close to perfect.

    Tomorrow will be great. Just try to make some time for those roses.

  3. James Hearne says:

    Once your show finishes (and is, I’m sure, wonderful), we can have a chat about this… I quite literally had nightmares for two weeks before our album release (and I DO NOT get stressed about shows)…

    • neonandshy says:

      I’d like that, James. Sorry I couldn’t make your show last night, as I was too busy in the fetal position worrying about what to stuff my piñata with. I’m sure you guys rocked it.

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