Last night was the first Russ Wilson Art Deco Review at Eleven on Grove in Asheville. For me, it was my first real opportunity to play with an Asheville audience doing something other than Poetry Alive! For a moment, I felt intimidated when I looked at the band’s “script” for the show that just had my name in capital letters between every act. I knew what my “bits” were though and had mapped out where I needed to be and what I would be doing for each one and focused on that instead. By the third time I interrupted Russ I had the audience heckling Russ on my behalf and I knew it was working.
By the time I sang with the band, even though I only had two friends hiding in that audience and doubt any of them had ever seen me on stage, I had them cheering for me more than any “star” that performed that evening. There is something terribly addictive about winning over an audience and getting them laughing with you and cheering you on.
As if that wasn’t special enough, I got a big smile and thumbs up from the local jazz diva (retired Chicago music teacher/jazz pianist/community chorus director) I admire most at the library show the Dixie Rhythm Aces played earlier in the day.
Funny, there’s one musician I’ve been trying to prove myself to for years. When I release all that work and energy to the rest of the world I get more back than one heart could ever return.