I can hardly even believe it, but today is the First Anniversary of the release of my album, “Flourish”!!!!! It is one of those instances that I can’t quite wrap my mind around the passage of time in my own life. On the one hand it seems that an entire year couldn’t possibly have passed already. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem possible that it has only been one year.
At any rate, the calendar tells me that it is true. One year ago today I was feeling SOOOOOO nervous and shaky about my release concert that evening. I had taken the morning off (I couldn’t take the whole day because I had gone to Iceland earlier in the year and used up most of my personal days!), grabbed a Booster Juice on the way to school for the afternoon (I was so nervous…that was all I could stomach!), and stopped at the music store to rent my last few pieces of equipment. I had a fabulous band, we had rehearsed and prepared and I had spent countless hours practicing on my own as well. Everything was ready.
I tried my best to go through the afternoon with my Kindergarten class as normally as I could, but the kids knew I had a big concert that night and were excited for me. I was so jittery and excited I could barely contain it. Then, as the end of the day drew near, my phone rang. Normally I wouldn’t even have my phone out during the school day, but since it was such a big day, I had it handy just in case anyone needed to get a hold of me. Good thing….it was the local Christian radio station!!! I had dropped off a CD a few days earlier, and they called to interview me, play a song, and promote my event! I remember calling for someone to watch my class so I could sneak away to the staff room and do my first ever radio interview!!! Hearing my song playing on the radio later was pretty surreal, and a really cool moment for me.
School ended and I raced off to the venue to prepare. We were just a few hours away from the big show! There were a few hiccups as we set up and got ready (we being me and my amazing people….my band, my dear friends Catherine and Tiffany, and my sister Rachel) but everyone else kept their cool and just made it work. I can’t honestly say that I kept my cool, but having people around me that did helped me immensely and I managed to hold it together through the set up, sound check, and getting ready (hair, make-up, etc).
Now…stage fright is not a new thing for me. I have struggled with it my whole life. I am completely fine once I am out on stage and have begun, but the lead-up….my goodness. Like I said, I was super nervous and shaky, and couldn’t even eat anything that entire day. The stage fright I was experiencing on this night 1 year ago…it was next level. This went beyond just a performance. When you are performing your own music, it changes into a different beast. You are now making yourself vulnerable in multiple ways…by getting up in front of people and sharing your musical talents, but also by exposing your very heart and soul by sharing your songs. It was intense. I actually felt like I couldn’t handle it in the moments right before I was to go on stage.
There was a knock on the door of my little dressing room (where I was in tears, practically breathing into a paper-bag to try and calm down) and I was told I had a backstage visitor. I was in NO MOOD for a visitor being in the state I was in, until I saw who it was…..my incredible Producer and dear friend STEVE!!! He was just the person I needed to see in that moment. He had journeyed through many months of making this music with me, which was not an easy process! With some encouragement from Steve, and some prayer with my people, I was as ready as I would ever be.
My dear friend Jenn hosted the night and introduced me to the crowd. I came out to a room full of people who were just there to support me. It was incredible! And my stage fright dissipated once I had the first song under my belt. I really do love being on stage, and it was such a joy to share my songs that night. It was both finish line, and a new beginning.
To think at this time 2 years ago, I had absolutely no idea what was coming in my life. That on July 2nd, 2016 God would give me the beautiful gift of the outline for this album. That over the next four weeks, songs would come from the very deepest part of me…some poured out, and some I had to wrestle out. That in the fall of 2016 I would embark on a crazy 8 month journey of learning and figuring out and trying and failing and trying again until I finally brought this little collection of songs…my heart and soul…into existence on May 31st, 2017.
So Happy Birthday, Flourish!