I had to live 42 years before I played a gig and was not feeling physically ill before, during, or after the gig. I loved performing for the very first time in my life.
All my life, I have hated performing. I always felt very uncomfortable getting in front of an audience. In my XYgoatZ days, I would need a few pints of ”liquid courage” just to be able to get through the gig.
My dislike for performance started in childhood, when I would have to entertain dinner guests at home. I always loved playing with other people and making music in group situations, but never really loved performing. Though I got fairly good at masking my dislike of performance and managed to get through them, it always tore me up inside.
The source of my insecurity after adolescence has always been my hearing and feeling like I was not good enough to be at the gig. Especially not being able to hear myself in the room I am performing in.
It wasn’t until my high school band Rejemilz, in Singapore, that I first experienced enjoyment while performing with the band. I wouldn’t feel that level of enjoyment again until just a couple a weeks ago with my current band. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy my bands in the interim, I think I was really insecure for a long time.
I have, for the most part, enjoyed making music with so many people. I loved my Sonic Bloom Theory and Acoustic Bloom Theory groups in Hong Kong. I have a ton of fun memories from my time in the Finnish Navy Band. Yet, I was always too preoccupied with the things in my head and letting go of them, to enjoy what I had in the moment.
In the years between 1996 and 2021, I have had many great collaborations and opportunities to perform, but this latest gig was different. I don’t know why. Perhaps I am finally free of my insecurities or perhaps I am at an age where I finally love being me and just don’t give a s#!t about what someone else might think of me.
I have another private event performance booked that will see me reuniting with an old friend from the Finnish Navy Band. I am really looking forward to it.