Thursday, August 3, 2017

     Today, I will record my Gershwin program in a local studio the size of my closet. There is no grand piano there, so I must play on a small digital piano. That's not the worst part. The worst part is the pedal is weird, and the stool I have to sit on feels like a horse saddle. Do not do a visual of this. Not pretty. Hopefully, my music will be, though.

     It's amazing how despite what has felt like a fabulous success in performing my one-woman shows over the past couple of years, I can feel so intimidated by the thought of beginning another. At my age, I often ask myself, "Why are you doing this? What are you trying to prove? Is it really worth the 10-11 month preparation? What keeps you going?"  The answer is always the same:  I love the process. I enjoy choosing the composer, selecting the pieces I want to play, writing the script, creating a medley and putting it all together. I don't enjoy the rehearsing as much, and I dread the angst of the actual performance. When it is all done, I am so proud, so very proud. Does anyone really care but me? Probably not, but that's ok. I perform to share the talent God has given me, but I create because it's part of my wiring; I have to do it.

     So what's that got to do with the poster above? Everything. Speaking to a new friend who has offered to put me on stage in our new hometown, I am suddenly "not" who I want to be. I am "not" confident. I am "not" a professional concert pianist. I am "not" a stage star; I am simply a talented musician who loves to create. Is that good enough? Maybe. The difference is what I choose to tell myself. If I say, "Yes, you can do this, and the reward is I DID IT!" then I can be who I want to be. If I tell myself I'm "not." then I am right. Sounds so simple. It isn't.

     Does your confidence ebb and flow like mine? If so, that is normal and human. I have a speech in my back pocket entitled, "Spray on Confidence." It's an imaginary concoction that you just spray on yourself when you need the ego boost. Wouldn't that be wonderful? I could be a millionaire if I could invent and market it. Alas, that won't happen. So I just limp along on my feckless journey to "Pretend I'm famous." When the applause starts, I barely hear it, as the real truth of my performance is in my own head and heart. I know when I'm good and when I'm not. What I've learned is that no matter how well I perform, it was "good" that I did it, and what is "not" matters not.