Life Choices 8

Clearly I had to develop some modicum of ability to play in front of others.  There was (now destroyed by fire) a little coffee house kind of funky place called Rasputin’s where they held an open mic night once a week.  If you were acoustic…this was the open mic to do in Ottawa.  It was very democratic.  Drop your name in the hat before 7:30 and, at 7:30 names were drawn one by one and you got to pen in your name in a time slot of your choice once your card was drawn.  If you were drawn first, you got the pick of the slots.  Last…you got the leftovers.  There was NEVER a shortage of names or empty spots.  There is some strategy to this that I am not really smart enough to calculate.  If you go first, you have to warm up the crowd.  If you go later, you risk following a really good act.

Like an idiot, I started playing there by doing instrumentals.  People like instrumental music, don’t get me wrong.  It’s just not a crowd pleaser when you’re a no-name-they-couldn’t-care-less-about-you act.  Especially when you’re playing something they’ve never heard before.  People want to hear words and be entertained.  Oy.  I sang a few songs like one I wrote for my wife’s birthday (I Just Wanted You To Know…on docweissband.com) and got a polite reception.  At least it wasn’t blank stares.  I still didn’t know I didn’t suck.


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