Yesterday I wrote about my mishaps and poor performance at my church’s first open mic night. The stakes were low. The mistakes were high. My disappointment matched the mistakes.
I was unprepared. I was uneasy. My friend asked me to do this open mic because they weren’t sure they’d have enough performers. I got there. I saw no shortage of performers. I could have backed out. I didn’t. I committed to my friend that I’d get up there. I also committed to myself. If we won’t honor our commitments, what will we honor?
Even if I was well prepared, I would have been nervous. It was my first time singing in front of an audience within memory. It was my first time performing in front of a sober audience – period. It was the first time I’d play guitar in front of more than 5 people. And I’d only played in front of 5 people once, in my house.
It was my turn. I got up. Things went wrong. I sat down. Life went on. It didn’t matter. If I had been in front of Madison Square Garden it would not have mattered. Because, frankly, not much matters. We just imagine it does.
The next afternoon, I still felt beat down from the dismal performance. I picked up the guitar. I started playing. We lined up the twins in their high chairs. They started smiling, clapping and singing babbly non-sense. It was a great show. And it was a show that mattered.
Better to do something than nothing. And when you screw up because you were unprepared, or mis-prepared, misinformed or inexperienced, or whatever … better to do something again and get better.
If you don’t do something, you’ll be left with nothing.