Yesterday was a record-breaking day of gigs at Brooklyn Music Factory. Five gigs with musicians ranging in age from 4 to 64 years old and spanning over ten hours! A massive amount of music was made. Many, many musicians connected on and off the band stand. People met for the first time to play. Some had been playing together for years. Everyone was tackling something crazy and bold: that they have license to express themselves in public and that music is an amazing way to do that.
Crazy – Big – Bold
The bigger the idea we have, the more far-fetched it seems, the more scared we are that our friends and family will think we are weird. The bolder our sound, the bigger the risk (or so it seems to the person taking the risk). The bigger the gesture, the bigger the expression, the bigger the chance of failing in an epic way.
What stands in the way of taking the next step in anything we consider to be left of our safe center is fear.
Fear is real and it can be scary. Really scary.
We had at least two musicians that came to their gig prepared…very prepared & were halted by fear. That palpable fear that makes our stomach knot and our hands sweat. That fear that makes our eyes cry. That fear that makes us want to curl up in a fetal position and hide in our bedroom.
That fear is so powerful it keeps us from expressing ourselves.
When our ideas of expression hone in on our true self, the fear seems to grow exponentially. It is indeed extremely scary to face any kind of genuine expression, let alone one done in a public venue.
I have dreams of singing in public while creating crazy loop based grooves and waves of synth pads all of which will wash over a crowd of dancers. I am terrified of moving away from my comfort zone, playing jazz piano or Jamaican music and of moving into an alternate form of expression…one that I KNOW I want to explore and share with the world. Currently I reserve my attempts to the practice studio, alone and safe…no one is listening so no one can laugh at me.
That fear we feel is real. It can be debilitating.
To all the musicians that were able to move beyond it and express themselves yesterday, congratulations!! You are brave and righteous. You are moving closer to your true self. You now have a responsibility, though, and that is to help and encourage those musicians that were halted at the edge of the stage. Those that did not get a chance to express themselves in public, deserve to. But they need your help.
Music is a social art form and it is meant to be shared. It takes a community of believers for each individual to have the courage to stay on the path to freedom of expression.