I feel I’m constantly re-learning certain lessons…
I was at Bob Smith’s always-terrific open mic at the Morrison house last week when I was approached by someone at the bar. She said that she was visitng from Florida and that the last time she had been there, I sang Danny Boy and it was so moving, would I sing it again. It seems that the lovely woman was there the only time I had sung Danny Boy in my life. I remember that it was a night when no one seemed to be paying attention to what was going on at the piano, so I thought, What the heck, I’ve always wondered if I could sell the story of this song. After that one performance I decided to let the Irish tenors* have this one and concentrate my energies on other repertoire.
So the yin and yang of this, as I see it:
- You never know who’s watching at any given time when you’re performing, no matter how un-interested an audience may seem.
- Often a tepid audience will contain one or more person who really appreciated what you did (in a quiet way).
*Thanks to my maternal grandmother Elizabeth O’Laughlin, I’m not abondoning the Irish part; it’s the tenor part I’ll never claim.