youngraven: (Hrm...)
Now, now after I've decided I'm going to up and away, the woman from Art Squad phones me to talk. My mobile twitched and forbade me answering, but a message was left nonetheless.

And...I should phone her - and I will do, this is never me saying I should phone her, but instead I'm going to spend the next two hours meticulously untying and re-tying my shoes.

So, I've got to think of something to say to her. This is not where I excel, mo cairde. Here is how I should not like this to go:

ring-ring
Woman at Art Squad: Good afternoon, Woman at Art Squad speaking.
Me: Erm... hallo.
Woman at Art Squad:...and you might be?
Me: Erm... hallo.
Woman at Art Squad:...right. Is there somebody in particular with whom you wish to speak?
Me: Erm...
Woman at Art Squad: Indeed. Do you recall, perhaps, who phoned you? Somebody did phone you, yes?
Me: Grass is green! CLICK

That isn't how I should like this to go. 'Cos that would be absurd and useless, right? Another absurd and useless thing is me thinking 'well, don't you owe it to everybody here to at least have a go at what she might have to give you?' I don't owe anything to anybody, but for myself and for Shaddow, really. Well, unless I've borrowed money from one of yez and I've forgot about it - which is possible, so...if that's true, then do remind me.

One does babble and stall for time, does one. Ah well, right? I should eff off and find out what she's got to say.
youngraven: (och)
Today has been My Special Day for eejity miscommunications. Last night, I played with Casey and Shaddow again at the Plaza Pub, and it went rather swimmingly. It ended (of course) late, which meant we were (well) late returning home. Knowing that I had another gig this afternoon, I checked the THSP timetable, 'cos something in the depths of my wee brain was telling me 'hrm...something's different? Well...today (for another fifty minutes, at least) is 17 August. Clearly, it's stated that today's seisiun will be occurring one hour later than the usual time.

What is that you used to say to people, [livejournal.com profile] aquila_dominus? If you are early, you are on time. If you are on time, you are late. If you are late, you are dead? Sort of thing, yeh? I was nigh unto an hour late this afternoon. I wanted to curl up into a tiny ball (roughly the size that would fit within my bodhran, curiously enough) and cease to exist. This is something that I Do Not Do. In my defence...the timetable was incorrect - I mean, janeymac you can see for yourselves it Ain't Right. And...frankly, I don't know that at two o-clock in the morning I'd have noticed that June's timetable had the same two Sundays starting at that time (which is whence this timetable was copied). In everybody elses' defence today: oh, we never look at that site.

Arrrrgh.

I'm sure it's no harm done. I hope Ken drops round to Gilligans Tuesday night so that I can explain to him why I went mad, and to point out to him that his timetable's off for the 24th as well, and he's got a chap coming in from Portland, and that's a mess waiting to happen. The timing, rather, not the fellow from Portland - he's a stunning player. :D

When I got home, still in the Mighty Throes of Performer Angst, I learn that there's been rather a profound miscommunication regarding our availability for the Jackson festival early next month.

I had to be talked off a bit of a ledge.

I think it's all sorted now. I'm going to tell myself that so as to avoid hours of staring at the dark and wondering did it all get sorted out? I tell you, I could win a fucking prize.

In other news, here's a Welsh comedian with more problems than me:
youngraven: (suffer)
Sights and sounds
pull me back down
another year

I was here.
I was here.


This is not the place in which I bare my soul - assuming I do so at all - however, I'm colliding with a certain deep-rooted mindset that may require a few more than the usual three external opinions to sort out.

Without going into a great lot of detail, I'm facing the prospect of becoming something of a 'free agent' musically speaking. Sure, what's the trouble in that, you might be wondering. Ha. For anybody else? There wouldn't be trouble in that. It would be a matter of waving to the world and announcing 'here I am, here are the things that I can do for you, so let's talk shall we?' Everything would all be sorted out brilliantly amidst a hail of confetti and a rain of champagne.

Well, perhaps it would never be that grand (nor...moist), but comparatively speaking? Effortless. Myself? As demonstrated last night by a wee fit of GNARGH, I can't even phone for a pizza without my head going into an uproar. Waving to the world and declaring my presence and availability is considerably more drastic than requesting black olives instead of sliced tomatoes.

It all comes down to this: it's impolite to bother people. Me making my presence known is a demand for the attention of people who have got other things to do. Thus, it is Bothering Them. My mother's advice was let people come to you - don't approach them, and she follows this advice herself rather well. I've not seen her in weeks1 because she rarely phones me to offer an invitation, because oh well, I don't want to bother you.

I've got this odd little dance that I often do when I find I've (for example) a question for somebody (Ken, for instance). Firstly, I spend an amount of time going off in search of the answer myself. Asking a question only to be given 'couldn't you have looked that up' as a retort is Highly Undesireable. Are there people with whom I'll break this rule? Sure. Perhaps three of them. In the Wide World Over. You three are neuroses exempt. /Shrug/ At any rate, back to the bobbing and dancing. Once I've determined that my desired answer does not exist where I can find it, I move into Part the Second - in which I chase myself round in circles over whether I should Ask Somebody; if so, then how; and wouldn't it be better to let it drop and Leave People Alone?

'Cos that's what we all most desire, right? To be Left the Eff Alone?

My victim The person I've chosen to ask is spared most of the Dance if I'm asking via email. 'Cos then I can pare down my language nearly to the point of grunts and pointings, and thus there's little awkwardness. God help the ones I have to treat with in person, 'cos the the Dance is far more evident. In making my attempts to dart in, ask my question, and quickly allow said person to resume living without me wanting something off him/her, I'm afraid I hover. Hovering is...well, it isn't the most annoying thing a person can do, but sure it's in the upper aeschelons of Bugging One's Shite.

People hovering about me fills me with an urge to invert the noses on their faces by twisting sharply. It's as though the ambient air gets filled up with hovery smelling dust, and it's difficult to breathe, think, or utter phrases which aren't eff the fuck away from me. So, the notion that I do this myself makes me want to hop into a bucket bound over the falls. I'm supposed to be more suave than that, right? Jaysus.

Going back to the waving to the world bit, where I truly start to go mad (cue laughter) is when I'm barraged about the head with this culture's notion of self...erm...what's the word I'm wanting here? Promotion. That's it. Self-promotion. The idea which says if you should like people to know what you can do, you've got to go off and tell them, haven't you? How else will they know otherwise, right? No-one can Come to You (as my mum would think is good and tasteful) who doesn't know you exist. Sort of thing.

Well. Erk.

That sort of goes against the notion of politely leaving people be, dunnit? Which presents me with a bit of a quandary. Do I keep to my time-honoured tradition of eschewing actions which may well irritate my fellow monkey? Do I break with that tradition and do something that frankly makes my skin crawl in the hopes that eventually...I'll...I don't know, reap some form of benefit? Sure, it's a mystery. I'm waiting for somebody to pull the mask from it and reveal it was the gardener all along. Haha.

Right, lest it be assumed that I'm grand with self-promotion as long as it isn't my own self doing it? That isn't so. It drives me round the bend when anybody does it. I read a local performer's bio yesterday, and the way she described the quality of her own voice really got up my nose. I mean, who the devil is she to tell to people that? I couldn't work out whether it was me being jealous that she can 'get away with it2' without being pelted with stones (or irony, or dead frogs, or...what have you) or whether it truly was an odious display of egotism. It's really quite the visceral reaction, and thus far my attempts at getting round it, under it, over it, or through it haven't been terribly fruitful.

So, I suppose I'm all at sea. I've considered chucking it all into the bin as a performer, as it seems the more polite and tasteful thing to do3. Why subject people to four hours of me doing my bit for the cause? Especially when no-one asked them whether they'd mind at all, first. Sure, it may seem completely up a tree to you, but my mind Goes to These Places. Then it snaps photos and pins them up to the walls. I've the feeling that now is when I should be posting a poll, only I'm never certain what the questions should be. And how to write them in a way that isn't flippant.

So. Should I...
Walk away from it, as I'm clearly not cut out for it? Hire a publicist? Try an entirely different approach (and feel free to offer a suggestion)?


1 Alright, sure, a dutiful daughter would ring up her mum and book a tea date. I get that. That, however, is not my point at the moment.
2In truth, she's fallen on astonishingly hard times, so perhaps she hasn't 'got away with it'. That might be a bit of magical thinking, but you never do know, eh?
3 There are other reasons for this consideration, but I'm leaving them for another time and place.
youngraven: (whack-fol-lol-de-ra)
A list of lessons learnt in Bishop Street

I'm not a grand street performer. I mean, I can do it, sure, but I neither excel, triumph, nor shimmer. It's quite simple, really. On a stage, I've got my place and the audience have got their place. In a street, everything is tossed together. Gone are the barriers that protect me from you and you from me (and these are important, oh yes, lest the stars fall and creation as we know it ends).

If I'm silent, and I allow my bodhrán to speak for me, things are a bit more settled. She's far more eloquent than I could be; I swop my words round and rarely make any sort of sense, I think. Ah well, what do you do? (Erm...learn to speak proper English. Fah. That's for people with attention spans. Ooh, aeroplane.) Erm...and see what that little vignette's cost me. I've no idea where I am.

Bishop Street is enchanting. Truly. And the Finest Latte Ever can be found at the Nodding Dog. For that alone, I'd go back to it. I'm actually planning my next foray out, although I may leave Caitrín (my bodhrán seems to like that name best) home.

Carolling and sean-nos are uneasy companions. If I'd given myself a good month longer, sure, it would have been...something. I think. The Irish songs, they went well enough (for a one unused, now, to singing without a mic - [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes did offer to bring a small system, only we were moving round a bit); the carols fell gracelessly onto their faces. I'd have been less concerned about it had I been amongst the usual sort of rabble out to a street fair - only these were a cultured lot. It didn't work. The carolling bit didn't work. The repertoire was ill-suited, there wasn't enough time spent in preparing for it; If I do something of this nature again, I'll have spent the year in advance searching for carol sort of things that don't need tarting up with harps and shamrocks. 'Cos argh. The instrumental Exmoose fare went over a bit better. For instance, we shoved 'Jingle Bells' into a set with two other tunes, which worked brilliantly. Why? 'Cos it's got an A and a B part (unlike some other carols which haven't got turns in at all), and it's a polka. Place it amongst two other Irish polkas and it's a seamless fit.

After all these years spent in making this not a truth, and as much as I'm loathe to admit it, I'm still ill at ease with my own voice. To stop the ridicule that I'm convinced would be mine if I expanded the horizons a bit, I've shackled myself I think. Hrm...it's needful to mention here that I often employ phrases such as 'I think' as 'filler' speech - rather than to imply any sort of doubt or uncertainty. I really need to come with a translator. I've got quite the barrier against the idea that I should strive to excel in ways that can't be quickly shoved under the rug. That sort of bright and shininess (or shite and brinyness - whichever you choose) should be reserved for those people who are so innately fantastic that others drop to their knees and whisper 'thou art god' at the mere sight of them. I am, of course, taking the piss out of myself.

For fuck's sake. Somebody's dangled a bauble in front of my eyes, and now I'm lost. In short, I need to stop bawlling and do something about it. This isn't a big rock for me to for ever be rolling up a hill. Right.

As unlikely as this may seem, a fiddle, a guitar and a bodhrán can actually compete with a brass band. It's simple, really. We all of us play in seisiunna - we're used to ignoring what the rest of the world is getting up to round us. Whether anybody else in the street could hear us, I couldn't tell you. I could hear us, and thus it was grand.

So, I wrote the bit at the middle after I'd written the bit at the end. I think this means I've done with this one - make of it all that you can, eh? :D

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