This past weekend was probably our biggest weekend of shows to date. We were scheduled to play 2 shows in 2 different towns on Friday and then 1 show on Saturday. All shows were outdoor festivals. The only hitch was....it rained the entire weekend!
When we arrived at the first festival, Bella Rustica, in Franklin, TN, it was pouring down rain. The festival happened to be in a field, so we traipsed through the mud to get to the main stage. Luckily, the stage and seating area were covered with a tent, so we were able to play without our equipment shorting-out or our instruments getting ruined. And even better, the audience had no choice but to stay under the tent or they would get soaking wet. I'm not even mad they were forced to watch us perform! And as it turns out, people were enjoying our set and really getting into our songs, which made putting on the show really enjoyable!
After our first performance, we packed our bags and drove an hour south to Lewisburg, TN, for the Goats, Music, and More Festival. This is definitely the biggest festival we were scheduled to play and were in the midst of big acts such as Joe Diffie and the Marshall Tucker Band. They expected thousands to be in attendance. However, when we got there, we ended up playing for an empty audience. Apparently the rain had driven many people away and the seating area was not covered, so only a few stayed. We had to create our own energy on stage to keep the momentum going, and still had fun just playing for each other and the few scattered audience members.
In fact, I think there were more goats than people at this festival. So naturally, we ended up taking selfies with the goats!
The next day, we woke up bright and early to play at Bella Rustica once again at 11:00am. There was still pouring rain and mud, but we were used to it by now. Again, we put on a show in the tent for the audience, and they were very attentive and appreciative of our music, which made the experience both fun and worthwhile.
Although it rained and poured on us the entire weekend, we had some of our most fun shows to date. The attentive audiences at the Bella Rustica Festival made all of our effort seem worthwhile and we think back on these shows as some of our best ones.
Even the sun can shine through the rain.
1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.
2. You go to parties -– but not to meet people.
4. Networking makes you feel like a phony.
8. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.
(from 23 Signs You're Secretly An Introvert)
I used to think something was wrong with me. I didn't understand why all my friends just wanted to be together day and night and I always wanted to go home shortly after arriving. I didn't understand why people loved jammed packed concerts and house parties. I prefer being in an intimate group setting, and I definitely prefer being the one on stage rather than the one crammed in the audience. I used to think I was alone in this, but thanks to the world of the internet and buzz feed, I found that I'm not the only one who feels this way! While that revelation is positive, the negative is that the list above is what you're "supposed" to be good at to make it in the music business.
I never heard the word "networking" thrown around so much before I moved to Nashville. When I arrived here, that's all anyone would say when they gave me advice. People would say, "You need to be out every night networking and meeting new people! Network at shows every chance you get! Take as many meetings as you can!" And I would think..well...that would be nice and all...if I wasn't so introverted!
The thought of randomly approaching someone I've never met and making small talk makes me want to cry in a corner. Not to mention my inner monologue is always planning the best possible response to give someone and I overthink everything--so, can't I just hand them a well-crafted note?! Another issue I've come across is that I've always valued the quality of relationship over quantity. When I talk to someone, I want to get to know them. When you're in a networking situation at a loud crowded bar, it's hard to get to know someone when you're yelling over the loud music that's playing.
They saying in Nashville goes, "it's all about who you know." But what about just the pure quality of your work? What happened to the days of the quiet and remote musician who was really awkward in person but made extremely great music? Bob Dylan? Jimi Hendrix?
So although I think networking is a valuable tool for those who excel at it, I have had to learn to accept the things that are. I could make myself go to event after event, small talk, and scan the room looking for important people. Or, I could do what I know best, and just get to know one person at a time. At least for me, this is a much more meaningful relationship. I don't want to use people to get to the top. I want to get to know people and find out their aspirations. If they can help me, then great. But if not, then I've made a genuine friend. And in the end, I think I'd rather be the person I was meant to be, than be someone else.
While doing my daily perusing of Facebook, I couldn't help but notice Jennifer Lawrence's Vanity Fair article. This news event always had me curious because I wanted to know why she took the pictures. I always thought- if you want to see yourself naked, can't you just look in a mirror? But, luckily I found my answer in the article, and it made me see a whole new light to this debate.
Her reason is, "I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”
Wait, what? Or, you can find a better boyfriend, who doesn't look at porn, and then you don't have to take naked pictures of yourself, and then they won't get leaked!
And here, my friends, is the problem. I think we can all agree that stealing other people's property is wrong, and therefore I have no qualms with people ranting that this is a crime. What I do have a problem with, is that this all stems with Jennifer trying to please a man who, if not pleased, will look for pleasure elsewhere.
I'm done giving boys this extra pat on the back that says, "Well you're just 'wired' that way, so sure, go look at those pictures, videos, strippers, etc." No. He can resist. He can not look at those things, and he can be content with what he has. If he's finding satisfaction in someone else other than you, he's cheating. And if you think he's going to look at porn if he doesn't see you for weeks at a time, then you need to be with someone else!
I'm not a bible scholar, but I can't help but think that the curse in Gensis is still plaguing women today. "Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you." Doesn't that seem interesting-- that the curse is your desire for your husband? Was Eve's desire not for her husband before? And why is that a curse? At first glance, it would seem that desire for your husband would make for a healthy relationship! But, at second glance, it makes me feel that maybe it's this innate desire to please men that's really the curse. It's why so many women stay with someone who is beating them. It's why we want to look beautiful no matter the cost. It's why so many blogs are about being content as a single woman- because women clearly aren't content being single! Is this the desire that's been cursed to us? I'm ready for a change. I'm ready to take back the natural order. I'm ready to go back to the way God originally meant us to be, where our desire was for our Heavenly Creator and that we would live in perfect unity with him.
I'm calling all men to step up, resist the temptation, and become worthy of their women. I'm calling all women to step up and live with dignity and self worth. I feel that if we all did this, then maybe, just maybe, we'd have less nude pictures to leak.
I've been very reflective lately. I've been reflecting about all the great opportunities I've had and how I got there. It's been amusing to reminisce on how, nine times out of ten, I got there...from the internet!
Just this past week I went to a radio station and the station manager asked me, "So how did we get in touch with you?" My answer was something like, "Well, I met this guy on twitter, and he invited me to play at this benefit concert, and then told me you all would be emailing me about coming by the station." I stopped and thought- this amazing opportunity came from someone I met on twitter? Crazy! And Awesome! Then, from this same opportunity, I received the chance to open for Joe Diffie next weekend at a festival. I would have never been able to book myself that!
Radio Interview with WJJM in Lewisburg, TN
When I recall some of my other radio interviews, I remember that they came about from people I met on the internet too. And If you follow me on my Facebook page, you'll see that I have had numerous Q&A's, interviews, and features--and most of them came from people contacting me on Twitter. Who knew that the internet would become my record label?!
I can't even begin to say how grateful I am that people have been taking a chance on me without even meeting me! And although I owe a lot of it to these individuals, I also know there is something greater at work. I've been reading through the Bible story of Gideon recently, and it's struck me how God's way is never the way we expect. Gideon was just a simple boy when an Angel told him he would become the "Mighty Warrior" to defeat the seemingly indestructible Midianites. At first it seemed like the Israelites may have had a chance when the army had 32,000 men to fight, but God whittled this number down to a mere 300. Then, Gideon instructed his men to only bring torches, trumpets, and empty jars. What?! How much faith did that take to go into war without real weapons? Crazy!
And that's how I feel God is working in my life. In my mind, there are logical ways to navigate this "music business," but God's way is certainly different. He's giving me empty jars and a trumpet and He's creating something I never would have expected out of them.
So if you feel like God is handing you empty jars to fight with, just go with it. Because if there's one thing I learned from Gideon (spoiler alert!), it's that if God is on your side of the battle, you're gonna win.
Sometimes I think I'm crazy. But sometimes, I think I know exactly what I'm doing.