(June 2005) Sometimes I play the man in black. Or at least some people called me that, or Johnny, or Cash, after I played a gig the other night. They gave me this nickname because I wore black and tended to look down at my guitar or just groove with myself like that when I wasn’t singing. Funny. They believe this was some cool look that I adopted but, actually, it’s because I’m shy.
My youngest brother is lead singer in a band and sings his first few songs with his eyes closed for the same reason. I had no idea he was even shy though—he’s certainly not around me—till I commented on the fact that I like this approach because it feels as if he’s absorbing his audience then inviting us all in. This got a big laugh out of him before he told me the truth.
So I guess this is a confession that will be familiar to introverted bloggers, but I become an actor playing myself when I need to perform in uncomfortable situations such as, say, a professional cocktail party or an awards setting or the first few weeks of teaching a new course or on stage or when I describe my art in the academic terms that folks expect to hear—basically, in environments in which there’s an expectation that I present myself in a certain way, which just makes me feel uncomfortable and pressured.
This approach usually works, but it can make me feel like a fraud sometimes....
Anyway, this just in from Drummer X:
...Just wanted you to know that I truly enjoyed playing with y’all again and wanted to thank all of you for asking me to be a part of this. This was a hard concert on me and I didn’t really realize it until the night of the concert. As I heard the “people of god” minister, priest, rabbi , and other religious leaders read their equal-marriage speeches and then listened to the y’all sing as pictures of queer ceremonies were being shown, I realized about 300 people had just seen pictures from mine and Cary’s wedding, but who had never seen them, because it is against god’s laws, is my own parents and family.
Thank you for putting this gig on. You guys don’t just sing, you guys make a difference in our community.
As always, one of your biggest fans.
SANG IN SHOWER: Another embarrassing one: I got a brand new pair of rollerskates. You got a brand new key....
READING: one of my handwritten cookbooks because a pal asked for my smoked salmon/goat cheese strata recipe
BEST OF SPAM: possess the hypocrite • they are not indifferent to us
POSSESS THE HYPOCRITE. I like that.