3/18/2022 Austin, Texas (downtown)

Yesterday, I played two sessions. Once in the morning and once at night. First, I went out to the Lamar Footbridge and played along the water for about 3 or 4 hours. It was a quiet morning but nonetheless there were a lot of people who supported me and what I was doing. It’s funny, every so often I get a 100 dollar bill and this one I didn’t see coming. There was a couple that had passed me by and we looked at each other but the moment came and went. They walked over the footbridge and out of sight. Such an occurrence is pretty common and it’s simply a brief moment that comes and goes. Some time went on and more people came and went. The couple ended up walking back down the footbridge and right up to me. Before I knew it, the woman reached out and gave me a hundred dollar bill. It took me back for a second. I was working through my own internal process and didn’t feel particularly great. That said I was committed to playing through whatever was there in my own space. I knew that no matter how much money I made yesterday that I would be proud for having had the courage to show up and play.

I’m seeing that burnout is not a thing but working through fear every day is a thing. There’s the fear of not knowing what will happen. There’s the fear of constantly pushing the envelope of my own skill even if it means I mess up in front of people. There’s the fear of introducing new songs, and just playing them no matter what. There’s the fear of playing foot drum rhythms that are more complicated and totally independent from my singing and guitar playing. There’s the fear of being seen in whatever uncomfortable place I’m in in my own headspace. So there’s a lot of fear. And. There’s a lot of space for acceptance, faith and courage.

Yesterday morning was a typical day, and I felt all of those things I mentioned above. That said, I was supported in so many ways for just showing up again. On a day when there weren’t a lot of people around per day, I made a lot happen. There were a lot of reasons to celebrate. After playing for a while, and there being a lull in the day, I moved on into the inner city.

There‘s a part of me that gets equally excited, and equally scared playing in a night time, night club, setting like the one of 6th street in Austin. I think I’m afraid of being hassled, or having some sort of confrontation. I think I’m also afraid of people not getting it and then me making that personal. I say all these things despite how many times I’ve played in similar settings to a very supportive audience. Anyhow, I was nervous. I walked around for about an hour before finally convincing myself to unpack my gear one item at a time.

I found a kind of conspicuous place on the corner of Congress and 6th street, a few blocks away from the big action of Austin. I was kind of out in the open which felt a little unnerving but I stayed and just felt it out. Sure enough, people started coming up to me one by one. I laid into the microphone like there was no tomorrow using that stage to unleash every unexpressed emotion that needed an outlet. Needless to say that the support was plentiful, and special. I felt weirdly at home, accepted in a way I couldn’t explain, and very embodied in what I was doing. I didn’t stay as long as I would have like because after a short time there were several other street artists performing on every other corner of the intersection I was at and it just felt kind of awful competing with a bunch of other noise. I plan on going back to this new place as well as trying my hand further down 6th street in the coming weeks.

Overall, yesterday was another step forward in pushing the needle forward. I played 6 days last week and worked it each time in a way that felt authentic to me. I don’t get tired and my voice keeps getting stronger and stronger. It’s almost like there’s not enough time to be able to do everything I know is possible with music. With this life, I’ll do everything possible to push and create and face all that comes up from constantly stepping into the unknown. Thanks Austin for the kindness this week offered.

*This is where I set up last night

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