Our performance last night didn’t go quite as we expected…we knew there was going to be a group of professional musicians (College Student said, “hey, they opened for you!” HA!) on stage before us, but we did not know that we were going to have to go up ON STAGE right after them. We thought we were going to be playing quietly in the corner (i.e. BACKGROUND MUSIC…no mikes). The stage is for professionals…the corner is for people like us. But in a room like that, we wouldn’t have even been background music in the corner; no one would’ve heard us. So we went up on the stage, just like the pros.
There was a sound guy, too! We’re used to playing in living rooms. We all have electric instruments and/or pick-ups on our acoustic instruments, so we aren’t strangers to amplification, but none of us knew that when you’re on a stage in a big room and sound guys are involved, YOU CAN’T HEAR EACH OTHER!!! It was very disconcerting. I could hear myself, but the sound was “tinny.” And if I strained I could hear my friend Lynne next to me, but I couldn’t hear the others AT ALL. Apparently, this is normal. The sound guy warned us we wouldn’t be able to hear ourselves, but to “trust him;” everyone else would hear us. (My husband said it was hard to hear us from where he was sitting…he thought the volume needed to be turned up.)
The other thing we did not expect were CAMERAS. No one said we were going to be on TV. One of the other players said, “At least it’s just public access. Nobody watches public access.” But you would be surprised how many people watch public access! I did a program at the North Liberty Library a few years ago that was broadcast (and replayed over and over and over) on public access…I couldn’t believe how many people told me they’d seen it.
But for the most part, WE ROCKED! We all said afterward that we’d made some mistakes…I know I hit the wrong string during one of the songs…and I missed two notes in another song. But I nailed the tricky part of the Bach minuet both times through, so that was a huge relief. There were times my fingers shook a little, but overall I was less nervous than I expected to be. I just didn’t look at anyone in the audience except for my family…and Donna’s mother-in-law, who whistled and cheered after every song we played! (Funny, I didn’t notice her doing that for the pros!) After it was over, I realized I’d actually had a good time up there. We all did. (In fact, I had a little adrenaline rush going for a while afterward).
We’re definitely going to do it again…(I think our next gig will be Christmas carols in the local nursing homes.)