Tonight, I’m attending an acoustic house show in Playa Del Ray. I found the event online, and I have no idea what to expect. Apparently, I’m set to perform the same event next month, so I thought I’d get a feel for the whole thing. They said to “BYOB”, so I bought Knob Creek because whiskey really helps me relax in social situations.
This morning, I woke up late and moseyed on down to the pier at Seal Beach to busk. I made an easy $50 bucks over the course of a couple hours. I haven’t street performed in a while, and it was nice to play my favorite covers and meet folks. One local named Ray remembered me from a few months back! He sat with me for a song or two, we chatted, and then he bought me a quesadilla and went on his way. Sweet man.
Busking has become a big part of my life as a musician. I can remember many late nights in Santa Barbara and hot afternoons in Long Beach in which I felt so stressed, frustrated or discouraged. One evening in October last year, I became so overwhelmed, that I shouted swear words and kicked my guitar case and threw my capo. Losing your shit in public is humiliating, and I felt so childish and stupid. At that time, I was a three hundred dollars short of rent and I thought I might be evicted. On the other hand, so much good has come from street performing. I’ve certainly grown as a performer and singer because of it. I’ve made friends and met other musicians, I’ve booked paying gigs, and I’ve even gone “viral” on Instagram for a few hours. At least, that’s how it felt to me… it was the most internet exposure I’ve ever had.
In some ways, I feel like I am on the other side of some very difficult years. Old things feel new because my approach, mindset, and circumstances have changed. Returning to the pier today was really nice. I had no expectations. There was no stress. Just good times playing music and being open. (And also a healthy reminder that I really need to learn some new songs and work on my voice more!).