~ William Stedd
As I said yesterday, the real purpose of the trip to New York was to check out the Catholic Underground. My friend Diane is a parishioner at Our Lady of Good Counsel, where CU meets in Manhattan. Having attended their monthly evening concerts and being a fan of my music, Diane suggested that this might be a good fit for a future gig. So I went up to check out the venue.
CU is on break for the summer and will start up again in September. But it was still a good idea to get a look around and get comfortable with the setting. I’ll be heading up that way again in September, and hope to get a better feel for the energy when it’s packed.
After Adoration, Diane, Eric and I went to Fetch for drinks and dessert (very good Margaritas and cheesecake ~ mmmm!) and that is when my life took a dramatic turn. Both Diane and Eric took turns kicking my acreage regarding my music and my hesitancy to share it with a larger audience. The conversation can basically be summed up this way: God has given me the gift of music and if I don’t share it with a wider audience, than that is burying my talent and I will be held accountable for that when I die.
Never thought about it quite in those terms. I have been complimented, asked if a CD could be pre-ordered, told consistently that my music is good and that I have what it takes. For whatever reason, it never made a dent ~ those negative tapes that kept playing in my head drowned them out. I do not know what it was that spoke so clearly to me this time, but that night, I finally got it. And believed it. Believed in the gift and what I need to do with it. The energy produced by this new self-knowledge and acceptance of support was incredible. It was as if I were staring at a train, and the conductor was holding out his hand, inviting me aboard.
No one but another artist understands the interior battles that I live with every day in regards to my art. Self-doubt is a constant companion. One of the lines I tell people at a concert is “Come on ~ clap! Musicians need love!” It always garners a laugh, but I am serious! The soul stands naked in the spotlight. If the audience gives verbal affirmation to the art, then the soul is not as conscious of its nakedness. But if there is no feedback, or (the ultimate slap in the face) bored indifference, then the soul is made painfully aware that its beauty is not appreciated and feels that its art has been cheapened.
So though I now realized that I really had no choice but to continue to grow my talent, and to share it with more people, I was still painfully aware of the risks such sharing entails. This fear has dogged me all my life.
So I kept staring excitedly at the train, but I did not get on.
The next day we met Imelda for lunch. Lovingly, but firmly, she pushed me on to the train, which turned out to be an express! I found myself saying yes to performing a benefit concert near her home in Connecticut. And she really didn’t allow me to say no by graciously offering to act as my agent in the area, as I have never performed outside of the Washington, D.C. area and am unfamiliar with venues. That will all change in September when I premiere my new show, The Edge of Love: Finding My Voice.
Thank you to all my wonderful friends and fans who have always believed in the music. The journey is far from over, but I know I could not have come even this far without your love, support, prayers and tough talk! Thanks for joining me on this wild ride ~ y’all are a blessing!!
Oremus pro invicem,