I went to watch a singer-songwriter friend perform at a talent showcase yesterday. It was fascinating and inspiring, particularly as someone who would like to be ‘discovered’ in their own medium.
The first thing to be admired was the courage with which everybody was putting themselves out there. There was only one girl who was professional. But the other five were being brave, and if they achieved nothing else, getting experience performing.
Andrew was first on stage. I don’t think it’s just because I know him that I enjoyed his performance most. I think it’s because he’d written his own (good) songs. He was doing something original, with influences from the Jam and the Cure.
Sometimes it’s hard to see what makes success as a writer. Yesterday, the difference between professional and amateur seemed pretty clear. If the professional vocalist made a slip, I’m not musical enough to notice. At least one other girl had an equally beautiful tone, but she hit a few wrong notes, and seemed less confident. The difference seemed to be training and practice.
Finally, I was struck by the generosity of the woman running the event. The company is a PR agency, but they weren’t charging people to perform or to attend. At the end of each act she sat with them to give them feedback and suggest ideas to further their career. She seemed equally generous with everyone, regardless of the likelihood they’d develop into paying clients.
As I say, I came away inspired.