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Hi! I am Marilyn, a singer/songwriter in Hudson, NY. You have landed on my personal website/ blog/ calendar, and you will find here all kinds of things about my musical life. Look around! My blog is below, but over in the right column under 'Pages', you can see links to videos, show schedules, song lists and the other musical projects I am working on. I really hope you will consider getting to a show or even have me (and my friends) come and entertain you at your party or event. People enjoy having us play for them!

When the music calls, I *will* be there....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Open Mic at The Parlor

Last night I attended an Open Mic at Parlors in Hudson. The atmosphere is of a laid back coffeehouse, with antiqued mismatched furniture, upholstered chairs and people half my age....

I had 'visited' the OM last week and there were several folks there who were more my peers, but last night....nope. My experience playing to younger people has been--they don't get me. I don't move them, my songs are the songs of an older woman (of course!!!).

So, I did play. The leader of the mic greeted me and offered me the first spot, which I declined per usual....but I took the second. The first person up was Liv Carrow. She is really a great songwriter, singer and performer.....NOT the person for me to follow!!! LOL....

But, she finished and I got up. Did my usual switching words, forgetting words, messing up chords, but covered pretty darn well for most of it....People listened carefully, a couple of guys 'whoa!'ed when I ended a song (per their usual) and everyone clapped. Politely. I saw a couple of foot tappers, elicited a couple smiles, bombed on every 'joke', including funny lines in the songs (It felt to me like maybe they didn't know if they *should* laugh...).

I left the stage feeling like a failure. I hung around though, and watched the other performers....most of them more talented than me (honestly). I also watched the response of the audience to the other players....and in most cases, they listened, whoa'ed and politely clapped for each musician/poet/reader, just like they did for me....

I had a facebook conversation about it all, and people made some good suggestions about having 'lines' to go on stage with that always 'work'. But the fact remains.....I EXPECTED a certain response from the audience and when I didn't get it, I felt like a failure.

I have given this some thought.....Do I have a right to EXPECT anything from an audience? They were a great audience in that they listened to me....something I hear a lot of people complain about the lack of in most of the situations they play in. Why didn't that satisfy me?

Because I didn't MOVE them in a way that I SAW.....I didn't make them physically move and interpreted that as a lack of emotional movement, a lack of touching them with my music. But, as Theresa pointed out on facebook....I really don't know how or if I affected anyone, last night or by extension, any time I play....

So, do I play for me? Or do I play for them? Or do I play for me and then by extension, them??

I was disappointed in my performance because I wanted to get them moving and with me and I didn't accept their quiet, polite appreciation as valid....That was Not Fair to me and Not Fair to them......

I am also beginning to realize that I look for fast music to get people moving during my performance because that is what FEELS GOOD to me, and I have recently only valued slower, more introspective music for the 'rest time' needed in between 'up time's..... I am not taking advantage of the differences in audiences, ie bar crowd vs dinner crowd vs coffeehouse crowd....and not giving them permission to take what I offer the way they want....

Time for me to get refocused on THE MUSIC and what IT wants to say through me, and less on the THE ACT.....That is the lesson of the day (AGAIN!!!!)-----Focus on the music and the act will take care of itself.....