Gig Day/Game Day

If you've ever watched Friday Night Lights, the words, "game day" should conjure images of coach driving to school with the radio announcer talking up the Friday game, praising or cursing past performances while the electric anticipation needles your own chest. Gig day does the same, especially if it's a new place that you'd like to make part of your regular circuit.I've created some of my own rituals to employ that vary with time, travel and schedule restrictions.

I give myself the most relaxing, enjoyable day possible. This may appear odd at the top of the list, but the vibe from a good day does wonders bringing out the best of creativity, passion, and precision. Some gigs come at the end of a full day of teaching, and in that case, I might get fifteen minutes watching the trees blow in the wind. Some fall on a weekend or summer vacation. That's when I get to include yoga, exercise, and tourism if I'm on the road.

At least five minutes of meditation. Years back I stumbled upon jazz pianist Kenny Werner's book, "Effortless Mastery." It delves into both the physical and psychological mechanics of tapping into excellence in any field. There's a CD with four meditations you can use to get into a positive frame of mind. 

Vocal and guitar warm ups. There are thousands of great websites with warm up techniques. I enjoy some of the ones from the beginning section of the "30 Day Guitar Workout" book, and the breathing, scales, and arpeggios from AAron Lim's site.  

Choose a sexy AND comfortable outfit. I could pretend that it doesn't matter, but I perform better when I feel like I look and feel good.

Last Friday Dave and I played at the Epicurean Connection in Sonoma. We decided to make a day of it coordinating Dave's student lesson in St. Helena with the later gig. I cruised consignment shops and cafes while he taught, and then headed for Sonoma stopping by the Fremont Diner for some appetizers that would double as dinner. It's a "farm to table" hotspot that I've been curious about, and I wasn't disappointed.



After vocal warm ups in the car, we still had time to kill before setting up, so we watched ducks in the Sonoma Plaza before loading gear into the cool colors of the Epicurean Connection.



The room sounded great, and we started to play for a group of about ten finely dressed Spanish-speaking men enjoying several bottles of wine paired with cheeses, entrees, and desserts. They showered us in tips and bought CDs before leaving the place empty early on in the evening. We assumed folks would wander in, but as the night progressed, it seemed the streets were deserted and we would continue to provide a soundtrack for the two staff members' closing routine.



Alas, all the preparation doesn't guarantee an audience, but it does feed the soul and keep the focus on the path rather than the destination.


Mary July 24, 2013 @09:10 pm
It's all about the path... Very well written!