One of my readers and Twitter followers requested that I start adding performance reviews to my blog (Hi, Nancy!) which I think is a cool idea. Most of the time, show reviews in magazines or on websites come from audience members and critics. We hardly ever get to hear how a show went from the performer’s perspective. I’m going to start posting short reviews of how shows went under the category “Show reviews” (big surprise) so you can find them all in one place if you ever want to look back on them.
Earlier this week, I had a performance that was out of the ordinary. It was not a scheduled show, but rather one song that I played for a small group of people gathered together in a support group.
I attend the Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry’s monthly group for people involved in the adoption triad (adoptees, adoptive families, and birth parents). I am an adoptee and have recently been reunited with my birth family. It’s been an incredible ride so far and I’m sure it will continue to be. I look forward to these meetings where I can share all of the emotions involved in adoption and spend time in friendship with people who understand better than anyone not involved in adoption can.
On my album How to Take the Fall there’s a song about being adopted that I wrote for my parents, long before I ever thought about searching for my birth family or attempting a reunion. The song is called “Love Like You” (you can hear it here if you’d like) and it is essentially meant to be a little love letter to the amazing people who raised me.
One of the other members of the GARR support group had heard this song and it touched her very deeply. She and several other members urged me to bring my guitar to the next meeting and play it for them, so on Tuesday evening, I did.
Something that I think most writers strive for is connection with an audience. We want to communicate something, bring up memories or emotions, form a bond (even a fleeting one) with the person on the other end. We want to be relevant.
I can honestly say that I have never performed that song for a more emotionally connected audience than the group at GARR. Talk about relevance!! There wasn’t one person in the room who didn’t have some grasp of what I was talking about. Everyone could identify on some level with at least part of the song.
Usually, I am good at keeping my own emotions under control while I’m performing. I do stay connected to the emotional place the song comes from, but I don’t get so “into it” that I can’t direct anything outward to the audience. In fact, that goes contrary to my performance philosophy (which I’ll have to go into in another post).
This time, it was all I could do not to cry like a baby. I did manage to make it through the song, but when I looked up the first person I saw was my mom, who blew me a kiss, and then I saw the faces of the other men and women in the room, many of whom were wiping away tears… and I lost it a little bit.
I have so much love and compassion for these folks, and so much gratitude for them. It fills my heart to the brim to have been able to offer them that song.
(for more information on the Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry, visit http://www.ga-adoptionreunion.com/)