As you probably can tell from our insta stories and posts, we’ve started to focus on the world of gigging!
In the early days we did some Sunday sessions at a local pub, The Beehive, and we also did a bunch of busking. It’s only more recently that we’ve gone to some open mic nights and this has been great fun. Both open mic venues we played at asked us to come back and play a set which was SUPER reassuring and a real confidence booster, especially considering we are so new to the gigging scene.
I’m so proud of Franny and I for finally getting out there and playing some legit gigs!! What fun! We’ve had two 45min – 1 hour gigs in the last couple of months, one at Elwood Lounge and one at Swamplands Bar… and I’m sure there will be many more to come in the near future. Both venues have been awesome - It makes all the difference when you feel relaxed and supported by the venue. So many friends and family have come on board and supported us as well which has been amazing, although it is ten times more confronting playing in front of people you know than in front of a room full of strangers!
Although Franny and I have accomplished some amazing music goals (such as recoding an EP, releasing a single, and filming two music videos!) it still doesn’t quite seem real to me somehow. When we are on stage performing, I feel like something clicks, and I can really connect with myself as a musician. I do find performing intimidating and nerve wracking, but I also find it exhilarating, rewarding, and a whole lot of fun!! It amazes me how much better Franny and I get with each performance. It inspires me to want to practice more, play more, write more and get more inventive and creative with our music.
Usually there is a stark contrast between Franny and I in the lead up to a gig. I am totally relaxed, calm, and collected, while Franny is in the corner pulling her hair out!!! It’s kinda’ good that we both approach a gig so differently as we can balance each other out. I think we’ve started to rub off on each other as well because Franny was pretty relaxed at the start of our last gig and I was the one who felt sick with nerves when we’d finished playing!!! Anyway, more on this in Franny’s segment.
If you’ve read our blog about my mental health and fitness journey, then you’ll know just how hard I find performing. I have MAJOR performance anxiety. It’s such a strange feeling… in the comfort of our music room at home I can play all our songs with my eyes closed – literally! But as soon as I am on that stage looking out to a crowd of people whose eyes are all on me, it all of sudden becomes insanely overwhelming. When I look down at the keyboard, sometimes I don’t even know where to begin – the keyboard turns into a sea of keys and my hands won’t stop shaking.
This has been quite the process for me. And to be honest, it’s probably why we haven’t been out gigging as much as we would have hoped, due to the fact I would rather curl up in my bed and pretend it wasn’t happening. Zooey is amazing! She’s so supportive and has really given me time to come to terms with the fact that the only way I am going to overcome this anxiety is to perform, perform, perform.
On the other hand, I LOVE recording, making music and creating music videos. I get nervous but not the kind that is this debilitating fear which morphs into this ugly monster who keeps me hostage. I think the worst part is what happens inside my head. I literally have battles with this ‘monster’ who tells me ‘mate, you’re gonna screw it up’, ‘you’re not good enough’, ‘you sound shit’, ‘look out here comes that high note… don’t fuck it up cause’ you know you’re going to’! So, as these voices play around in my head whilst I am singing and trying to get the words out for the songs, here I am fighting that voice in my head with counter thoughts like ‘go away, I’ve got this!’… If anyone could hear what was happening inside my head, you’d think I was CRAZY! However, for the first time EVER, in our most recent gig, I was cool calm and collected right up until I started playing our first song. That’s a HUGE improvement. Usually I won’t be able to eat during the day of our gig and (sorry for the TMI) I’ll have to go to the restroom about 20 times in that day because my body thinks I’ve been poisoned!! WTF!! Why me?! Anyways, I feel like the more we perform, the more I am getting used to it.
It’s funny because when I go to see other musicians perform, they all seem to LOVE it! None of them seem to screw up (or at least they cover it up well), and they genuinely look like they are having FUN! I so desperately want that! I also think it’s important to be open and real about these things because we don’t really talk about it. We all like to look like we have our shit together, but I think more often than not, we all face moments of fear and doubt. So, if anyone’s reading this and can relate, I sincerely hope this helps in some small way, even if it’s just the feeling of ‘phew, I’m not the only one!’.