Well, there I was back at the Red Clay Theater. I had a great performance the last time I was there and figured I’d make my way back over there. I showed up, checked in, and went on down to the green room to tune up and just get ready. At this point, I was down there and I thought to myself, “I’m not here to win any kind of prize or get any kind of award. I’m here to play my songs for anyone who will listen.” I tuned up, and not 30 minutes later was on stage to play my two songs. Due to all the rain we’ve been getting in Atlanta, I played “Another Rainy Night in GA” and “Why I Sing About The Rain.” I told stories, I made people laugh, and the applause I got at the end of each song was overwhelmingly loud. I could see the smiling faces as I sang and told my stories and that right there made me feel like a winner.
After my set, a few folks came up to me and told me how much they enjoyed my songs. I did hang out and watch the rest of the night’s performances and I found it really funny that all the ones that got picked as “finalists” for the night were the last ones that I personally would’ve picked. It’s plain and clear that this guy has a style and I am not that “style” but that’s beside the point. What I quickly learned is this: Get it out of your head that this is competition. Don’t go out there to win or to be better than someone else. Go out there and be the best that YOU can be and play to an attentive audience. Make them a fan of YOU. That’s all. I did just that on this night and it felt fucking amazing.
As I drove home afterwards, I just smiled to myself and thought to myself, “Don, you did good up there brother.” I did just what I set out to do. I played my songs before an attentive audience of folks that like to listen to music. Isn’t that what I always said I wanted to do in the first place? Well, I’ll be back to do it again without a doubt.