This is a true story I just made up!
Yesterday, while boarding my Delta airlines flight en route to Orlando Florida, I got upgraded to 1st class due to overbooking. I proceeded to take my 1st class window seat as I sat patiently waiting for the lucky passenger that would be seating next to me. Apparently my seat partner was running late, as she was the last person to board the flight. She must have been running in order to make the flight, as she was panting upon arrival. She sunk into her seat next to me as she muttered what appeared to be curse words under her breath. She had a baseball cap on with dark sunshades, which did a decent job of hiding her facial features. She looked familiar?
We eventually made it to maximum cruising altitude, and I proceeded to further complicate her day by tapping her shoulder to request room to squeeze past her to go to the bathroom. It was then that I got a good look at her face. Lo and behold, I was sitting next to Halle Berry.
Needless to say, I couldn’t really focus on my bathroom session, as Halle was on my mind. I couldn’t believe I was sitting next to Halle Berry. I eventually composed enough to confidently make my way back to my seat. Squeezing past her for the second time, I did my best to manufacture and ship a smile her way. To my surprise, she just hissed at me, and turned away in obvious disgust. As I melted into my seat, I found myself contemplating her reaction. Not only was it rude, it was downright dismissive. Part of me was angry that I cared too much, and the other part was a little perturbed by her reaction. I was determined then to give her a piece of my mind.
I again tapped on her shoulder, this time not so gently. As she turned angrily towards me, I postured up with every intention of giving her the verbal and emotional lashing she had earned. As I opened my mouth to begin my assault, I was reminded of the moral of this story. Don’t believe everything you read, especially true stories I just made up 😉
I got a call today from a fellow musician from Danville VA. A mutual friend of ours referred him to me. He called to ask for advice on how to handle his upcoming audition for NBC’s The Voice. After we chatted for a bit, it got me reflecting on my time on the show. It’s obviously one of the highlights of my musical career so far, and I am very grateful for the experience. However, my time on the show taught me a very very valuable lesson. BE YOURSELF!
In my minimal advice to my fellow intentionally unnamed musician from Danville VA, this was the one piece of advice I emphasized. I had battled my nerves during my blind audition to make it into the show. The occasion was overwhelming as I met celebrity judges like Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine, got interviewed by people I had only seen on TV like Carson Daily, and I was promised the opportunity and illusion of the musical career I’d always dreamed of. As my battle rounds crept up, I figured I’d give the people what they want. I forgot everything I’d done to place myself in that position. I forgot to BE MYSELF.
To cut the long story shot, I did a ton of vocal acrobatics during my battle round because I figured that was what America and the judges wanted to see. I forgot that I am more of a painter/story teller. Truth be told, I’m happy I never progressed past the battle rounds. Why? Loosing was never the tragedy for me, but continuing to progress while loosing myself in the process would have been just that. Nowadays I perform all over the country as my truest self. I’m a story telling, always joking, usually goofy, and quite seldom serious performer. I’m a successful touring musician these days with the biggest smile on my face because I’m finally BEING MYSELF