Hey all! Look, it’s a blog entry from the world’s worst blogger! But I’ve got to blog some, I’m on tour. Which was the reason I started a blog to begin with.
So, yes! I am on tour. I am driving to the East Cost all by myself and performing a series of solo tours – the first solo tours I have performed in probably 20 years. It is very much an initiation of sorts for me, in that every step of the process has required me to face some fear or other. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to stare down thoughts such as “What am I, crazy? I will never make enough money, I’m going to lose my shirt, I’ll never be good enough without Winter, I’ll never get enough gigs, I’ll hate driving that much, I’ll be scared, I’ll be lonely, blah blah blah”. And I just did it anyway. I can’t tell you how empowering it has been to walk through that fear. I hope every one of you has the opportunity to crush your fears into oblivion, even just one or two of them.
That’s not to say that my travels have been easy. I’ve been caught in two snowstorms, one where the snow was coming at me head on and created this tunnel-like effect that was downright hallucinagenic and made for a very challenging drive, and the second which was a bonafide blizzard that covered the very road right before my eyes. This one really scared the bejeezus out of me. Not that I had much bejeezus to begin with, mind you. Traffic was stopped for 45 minutes at one point and the road was eventually closed. I thought to call Highway Patrol and got no cell reception. Shannon’s voice kept ringing through my head – “The best way to deal with a survival situation is to not get in one”. I felt woefully unprepared for snow, and realize how little I know about it. I never made it to my destination that night, I had to pull off in Laramie Wyoming. That was the first real town, and it was a long harrowing drive to get there. I stayed behind a big rig and followed it’s grooves in the snow.
At last I arrived in Laramie, and you never saw a girl so happy to see a Marriot! The irony wasn’t lost on me that the only thing I’ve ever known about Laramie is it’s infamous queer bashing history, yet here it was feeling like Mecca to me. I had been driving in this blizzard clenching my steering wheel for dear life for 3 hours before finally arriving, and they had a heated pool and a jacuzzi. I sat in the jacuzzi said “ha!” to the snow as I looked out at it.
The roads opened by 1pm next day and I arrived in Denver for my first solo show in 20 years.
It was exhilarating, terrifying, empowering. It was in a charming cafe, all done up in jewel tones and velvets. The sound system was nice and I played to a small room of 35 or so, all of whom listened raptly and bought CDs afterwards. Not bad for my first visit there. My instrument playing was tentative, but my voice was on. I suspect my confidence will solidify in a few more gigs.
I have been staying with wonderful people here in the outskirts of Denver. The kind of people who know how to live life. Magickal folk who take their practices seriously and have great energy to show for it. I am glad I met them. More than once I have been struck with the sensation that I am inside my life, rather than on the outside trying to get in, as I have felt all too often in my life, i.e. when I am not making music.
Honestly I should have done this years ago. Why didn’t I? Well, a lot of reasons I suppose. I was focused on Pandemonaeon for one, and a 7 piece band is damn hard to take on the road. I feared I wasn’t good enough. And the advent of social networking has made it quite a lot easier to connect with folks all over the country. 10 years ago it was a lot harder to gauge what kind of support you could expect on the other side of the country. And as far as not being good enough – well, guess how you get good enough. You jump in and do it until you are good enough. Sitting at home practicing in your room is a good thing but nothing can prepare you for playing live like playing live.
Tomorrow I begin three pretty brutal days of driving across the Midwest to reach my next gig at Brid’s Closet’s Annual Beltane Festival. It’s worth it though, even the hard parts, to be doing what I love, honing my craft, and building friendships and audiences across the land. This is what I was meant to do and I am so thankful to be doing it. I’ll write more when I can, and love to you all.