This past monday at the Seminar in the Rockies I played in the round with Robbie Seay and Justin McRoberts. Despite the fact that we were following an illusionist who had just laid 50 lbs of broken glass onto the stage, Justin and Robbie insisted on playing barefoot, so I followed suit. We sat on wooden stools in a row and held our guitars, each taking turns telling our stories and playing our songs. I was honored to be up there with such great singer/songwriters and we were all there because of Compassion so it was a meaningful night. For my last song I moved to the keys to play Closer to the Moon. The problem with that is this:
I don't really know how to play the piano. I just fake it.
I've taken lessons and probably written a dozen songs in C because it's the only key I can do without too much thought. Closer to the Moon is one of those.
I'm forcing myself to play live because it's the best way to overcome my nervousness about it. Only when I walk in front of those Oso colored keys do my hands start shaking. I check my feet placement to make sure the peddle won't slide away from me, I set my fingers around middle C and then smile, look at the crowd, and try to stop thinking.
I was a diver in high school and learned quickly that for me, it was all a mind game. If I started thinking of all the things that could go wrong with the dive at hand, it would normally go wrong. I often hit dives in meets that I never came close to hitting in practice. I guess the stress of the event left no room for over thinking.
I broke three glasses on my first day as a server in a restaurant. At different times. No joke. I kept psyching myself out thinking "I'm gonna drop this glass... I'm totally gonna drop this glass", and then I would.
Finally I realized that I would be fine if I just answered myself with a "no you're not! you have both glasses in your hand and you are NOT going to drop them". I suppose that is what they call mind over matter.
Chin up, shoulders back, I can do this.
One day I hope I'll be able to play the piano without a cheerleader on call in my head. Until then,
I am a great piano player... I can do this... I am a great piano player... I can do this...
(btw: download Closer to the Moon for free right here on this page. Click on the noisetrade widget on the right, under the Compassion banner)