Saturday, January 29, 2011

Magical Moment 359, "The Show Must Go On"

I played a show in New York City the other night. I was booked last minute at a lounge in the lower east side. I did my best to promote the show in the few days I had, but I knew with the most recent snow storm, the crowd would be sparse at best. And with another round of snow the day of the show, I knew I had to decide right then to cancel or go ahead as planned. The thought of trekking into the city in such bad weather for an unpredictable crowd tempted me very hard to cancel. Until I thought about my friend Bethany.

Bethany is a singer/songwriter from my hometown. She often plays at small, local venues. We've been friends since kindergarten, but I had never heard her play until recently. She had a show scheduled at a club in Lincoln, NE and I was so excited to finally hear her music. When I got to there however, I was one of only ten people in the audience. I looked around, puzzled, wondering if she would just cancel the whole thing, but as soon as I spoke to her I realized that thought hadn't even entered her mind.

She sat on the stage, acoustic guitar in her lap, and sang her heart out for an hour. I heard and felt every word she sang, and my eyes stayed glued on her the entire time. She captivated the whole audience...all 10 of us. But the number didn't matter. It could have been one person, or a hundred, and she would have given it her all and made those people thankful they came.

When I remembered this, I knew I had no choice but to keep the show scheduled. I drove over the George Washington Bridge, passing plow trucks and stranded cars. My feet got soaking wet as I walked from my car to the club, lugging my guitar. I paid the $8 in tolls and another $10 for parking. And when the show started, I had an audience of 5. By the end, there was 7. But it didn't matter. I knew why I was there. I can talk the talk of passion and dedication for what I do, but it means nothing if I can't walk the walk. All the way from New Jersey to the lower east side.

Enjoy this clip of my friend Bethany...