Greetings, little lambs! So we are now eight days into the New Year and wow, what a difference a few days makes. I am feeling considerably better and far more clear-headed than I was in my last post and that probably has a lot to do with allowing myself the first three days of the year to feel sorry for myself and get it all out of my system. Well, almost all of it anyway...I'm still prone to burst into tears at oddly inappropriate moments; it's just that they are simply fewer and farther between now. Also, I somehow started New Year's Day with nearly nothing on my calendar for January - yet now I'm not sure when I'll next have time for a full 8 hours of sleep! This is a good thing though, because I'm pretty sure God is screaming at me, "KEEP GOING, STOOPIT!!!"
My friend Candy says to me the other day, "Darc, you act like you haven't DONE anything. You know how they say 'a writer writes'...? You're a musician making music -- you're doing it." And I suppose she has an excellent point there...there are plenty of closet musicians in the world who don't even play for their own enjoyment anymore and I've certainly been that person at times in my life. I think what was getting me is that I had done lots of things that never seemed to actually lead anywhere. But I suppose as they say, "everything in its own time"...things happen when they're supposed to and when you're ready. There's that little quote, "Success is when preparedness meets opportunity." My friend and sight singing teacher Gerald White said in class once that the people who make it in this town are the people who were READY when the opportunities came knocking. I can look back on my life and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was NOT ready in the past. I feel like I am now.
Anyway...out of the blue on Monday Tony Sweet asks me to come on his show at LA Talk Radio and talk about my music. I managed to lift my woah-is-me behind up to the keyboard and wipe my snot-nose long enough to type, "YES PLEASE!" Soooooo cool, cuz he's had some seriously big deal guests...like...
the incomparable Martha Wash...
...and many, many others. I've wanted to be on his show for quite awhile, because he is - wait for it - a gay Christian. No, that's not an oxymoron. They really exist. And I love that he has a show out there with the intent of drawing more of the same together. And seriously...THAT is my audience. Growing up in an evangelical home and now considering my most loyal fans are gay...it's a perfect fit. And as luck would have it, I had just gotten my first dance mix (holla, to Josh Harris!) and it was perfect timing to kick off its release on the show. It was such a privilege - not to mention SUPER fun - to be on the show tonight.
Tomorrow we're doing test shoots for my first music video, Sunday I compete in a singing competition called "Hollywood Idol" (whether I win or not I don't care - it's an opportunity to get to sing "Barracuda" with a live band, one of my favorite things to do on the planet!), Monday rehearsal with Debby Holiday to play the NAMM show on Friday, buncha students on Tuesday (Praisaluiah!!!), another round of Fame starts on Wednesday, students Thursday, oh it looks like NEXT Friday I can sleep...oh no wait...that's NAMM, up to Santa Barbara that weekend to visit my friend Chann who will be in the area for the week, and in the midst of all this I will be babysitting my quasi-nieces Rylie and Kayla (lurve!) here and there, writing/recording/releasing a song by Valentine's Day, hopefully singing a few Sundays at Church of the Brethren, recording some vocals for my old friend Chris Mitchell's new album, emailing a bazillion DJ's to beg them to spin my new dance mix of "Jezebel"...and driving myself off a cliff. If I'm smart, that is.
I cannot complain. Most of these commitments involving music have literally come about since my last post.
God is screaming at me.
Candy said, "You're doing it."
I suppose I am.
Main reason for this blog though is really to share that I will be visiting NYC in June. "Big deal," you think. "Anyone can visit New York." Hold up, now. While that is certainly true, one cannot always visit New York for FREE.
But I am!
A few years ago CBS had an AWESOME reality show called Rockstar: INXS. It was American Idol on steroids, rocking out, with FAR better talent and the most killer for-hire band in prime time I'd ever heard. Like I write my WMR for A.I., I decided to do so on the Rockstar message boards for that show as well. I ended up with a few fans from it. My friend Tiffany was one of them.
(To clarify, not "I Think We're Alone Now" Tiffany. This is Canadian Tiffany. She says "aboot.")
Tif has a wonderful husband and two daughters, one of whom was terribly sick with a heart condition and struggled through the first years of her little life. While she's still got some developmental issues, she's a corker and doing pretty dang well now. Tiffany used a song I wrote with Levi called "Hardly A Hero" to make a video to thank the nurses that worked at the hospital. It was really touching and reminded me that when the focus of what I do starts leaning way too heavily toward "the biz," I need to take a step back and remember that music is an element of healing and I have the privilege of being a vessel for it.
Fast forward to present day. Tif and I share lots of pictures and anecdotes of her girls and "my" girls (the twins) on ye olde Facebook just about every day. She mentions a few months ago about wanting to visit New York City for her birthday, but I think nothing of it, really. Then out of the blue recently she decides to ask me what I'm doing in June. My first thought was, "Probably nothing, like every other month in my life." (Tortured artist - my emotions are roller-coastery!) What I think I said was, "Dunno, why?" She proceeds to tell me that she is definitely going to go to NYC for her birthday, her hubby doesn't want to go, her friends up in Canada can't go and she REALLY felt led to ask me to go and that my flight would be paid for using points she's earned on her credit card. We could share a hotel room.
*cue record scratch*
What I say: "Tiffany, I snore like Shrek. No one who's ever shared a room with me has EVER done it again. It's really not advisable." (Right, Karen? Sisters?)
What I think: "And plus...we've never met in person. What if it turns out we hate each other???"
She says what I'd been thinking, "I know we haven't met in person and it might be weird. Let me think." (I get the impression that she thinks I made up the whole snoring thing to be polite...oh how I wish that were true! Karen? Sisters?) She tinkers for a day and messages me again. Turns out she's got enough points for both our flights and SEPARATE HOTEL ROOMS!
Now I start thinking to myself, "Self...you could be a totally fearful freak about this, or you can consider that you have been stewing for a good year now on how you could make a cost-effective trip to NYC to do a show soon and consider that God might be screaming at you again..." I also thought, "But it's too easy..."
And it really was. We had to mess with dates a little...Tiffany is a mother of two after all and she's got a very busy, activity-filled life and is leaving the kids with Dad for a whole five days, which...well...we all know how amazing moms are, let's just put it that way. But then HER mother, or mother-in-law?, said, "Just go and have fun. I got the kids." Then last night she's checking flights and such and everything is SO CHEAP. Tiffany keeps saying, "It's so meant to be! It's soooooo meant to be!"
And so last night she booked the tickets. And we will be in New York City celebrating our birthdays (mine is in May, hers the week before the trip), she for the first time EVER, me for the first time since 2006, from June 14th through the 18th. I'm going to bust my patootie to learn to play my own songs on the piano so I can book myself a show at Rockwood Music Hall, where I sang with Levi the last time I was in NYC. We're also going to be seeing the new musical Million Dollar Quartet (which will be starring someone I know). As my little seester Mandi would say, "IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!!"
And if it turns out Tif's left of nutso, I have several friends in the city with which to hide.
I cannot express what a blessing this is. I cannot express my shock, either. This past year I have been stunned at the generosity of others in my life. I didn't say so at the time, but my flight to Nashville in October was paid for with a friend's hubby's frequent flier miles, too. Out of the blue she said, "We want to do this for you. We're in a position to help, so let us."
(You should know that on the vision board I made on New Year's Eve 2008, I had placed pictures of L.A., Nashville and New York, with the words "on the road again" beside them, having no idea how I would possibly make those trips happen.)
The lap top I use to teach my Skype lessons - donated by another friend through a program at his work. "Don't spend any money yet, I think I can get you something." Another friend earlier this week made a donation toward my music video. "Go make your video and DON'T use it on rent and DON'T talk about this anymore or I'll hang up on you right now." (Cuz of course I was blubbering over the phone, "Ohmygahthatisamazingicantpossiblyletyoudothisohmygahohmygahohmygah!") And quite a few other things as simple as "We want to treat you to the new Harry Potter movie!" Or, "Come over and let me cook you my grandma's spaghetti and meatballs." Or one of the BEST things, "Let me pay for your cleaning lady to come, I know it's been awhile." (He had no idea! Seriously, DO THIS for a friend if you can, it's the BEST gift EVER!)
And yet...I complain? About ANYTHING? REALLY? I feel like I have no friends? Shut your frickin' piehole, Darci. No, I may not have someone only a mile or two away who's going to enable my ice cream addiction and allow me to whine and moan and slobber all over their shoulder and ruin their shirt. But it turns out I have so much more than that. I have love coming at me from ALL. OVER. NORTH. AMERICA. And probably from a couple folks across the pond, too. And how many people can lay claim to that? Yes, God is screaming at me. And conspiring with my friends - both old and new - to keep me from sentencing myself to a life behind a desk. If they all believe in me that much, and if I've been given a gift that is intended to be shared on more than just a local level, then I can do nothing but honor these calls to action. Anything less from me, at this point, would be an insult.
Yes God, I hear you. You can pipe down a little now.