Join me and my friends this Wednesday night, October 28th at 7:30 pm for loads of fun and laughs. Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door. Hope to see you there.
I am sorry that I haven’t been around the blogosphere much these last few months. I’ve been living in New York taking care of my mother. She passed on August 19 (The day after my anniversary). To be honest, my emotions are raw and all over the place which is why I haven’t been writing.
I run the gamut of relief, grief, anger and acceptance all in an hour’s time.
I’ll write more once my heart settles down and I can once again assemble clear, intelligent thought. You deserve my best. I’ll get there again. I promise.
My summer hasn’t been all crazy. There have been many good moments. Like this for instance.
Hubs got me a new, custom-made Bishline Banjo for our 25th wedding anniversary. The arm rest says, “Breathe Darlin’ ” (something an old friend used to say to me when my shoulders were in my ears and my anxiety was readily apparent) and the head-stock reads “Hippie Chick” a nickname given to me by the lead guitar player from Korn when I played the Funny Bone this Spring.
I am not making that up you guys. I shared a stage with Thaddeous Challis from Korn last Spring and he dubbed me “The Hippie Chick.” that was so freakin cool that I still want to pinch myself. My son thinks I’m a rock star now and wants an autograph. HA!
of HIM, not me. Just to be clear.
Granted, Hippie Chick doesn’t exactly fit (I’m a little too naive for that name) but I like it and I’ll take it.
This banjo is an open back model and is designed specifically for Claw-hammer style banjo which is something I’m trying to teach myself and is also what Rob is playing in this video.
Check out the video to see what it sounds like. It has a bright, clear, and happy sound and is exceptionally made. I met Rob almost three years ago when my then banjo teacher invited me out to hear “a real banjo player play,” as he put it.
Rob is local to Tulsa and is not only a gifted musician, he’s a well gifted Luthier as well. I’ve wanted a Bishline Custom banjo for almost three years. I’m thrilled to add this beautiful instrument to my collection. The action is low and perfect for my smallish stature. It’ll take some time to readjust the muscle memory. My Recording King had wider frets and a longer neck. I keep missing the chords but I’m getting there.
This is officially my favorite banjo in my collection.
Even more fun, I bought my guitar playing husband a Madera (Also made by Rob). It’s a banjo that looks like a guitar. Rob called us “This really cool dead head couple” — HA! Again with the not quite right nick names, but then again, I DID have him put a wheel of roses and a dancing bear on my hubs Madera, so you know.
Guitar man and I do play together on our front porch as time allows. What takes me months to learn, he picks up by ear. I’m okay with that really. Playing together is pure joy.
Take care my sweet friends.
Live today and love well.
It does not matter how carefully we plan and dream, life is full of left turns and surprises.
I had my summer all planned out.
A book to write.
Classes to finish.
Blogs to write.
Parties to go to.
Gigs that made me thrilled with excitement.
And then life happened and I had to choose.
Six weeks ago I received a call that a family member was in the hospital and they were never coming home.
I caught the next flight out and canceled everything on my calendar to be with them.
I’d do it again in a heart beat.
Now the good news is, they ARE coming home very soon. And for that I’m thrilled.
The past six weeks were full of twists and turns and white knuckle dives as we watched this family member come to the brink of death and back again.
They are a fighter.
So if you’ve wondered where I’ve been. I’ve been at the bedside of someone near and dear to me.
It was the right choice.
I hope you understand.
I was only half crazy when I got married. Then I had kids.
So here I am in New York, minding my own business when what to my wondering eyes should appear? A comedy Dojo workshop in my little town, led by none other than Chili Challis at the Syracuse Funny Bone.
Chili was one of the judges for a comedy contest way back when. He’d seen me once, maybe twice on stage and I am fairly certain I stunk both times.
Most of you guys remember that story. Little old still struggling with stage fright, had only played open mics at bars up until this point ME,drove her shaking butt 15 hours to Indiana to put it all out there in front of the pros. If you guys recall, that was the show where I was told to never EVER do comedy again. Give it up, find something else – go do movies or something. And that was just my first night. I had to do TWO more sets after that. Good Golly Miss Molly.
That was also the time when my car got stolen upon returning home and learned if you are a comic, no one including the local police will ever believe your car was actually stolen and not repossessed.
Saving Grace to that whole week was one lone comic from NY who called bullshit on my entire set. I’d bought into this “I’m nobody special” lie and it really came through on stage. He saw it. He also saw a funny, beautiful woman behind the fear as well as potential and told me to go home, reevaluate not only my set, but my belief system. And I did.
I spent 14 months with a broken leg and took my entire set and beliefs about myself back to the studs and started over.
I remembered Chili from the contest. One because he looks like Jerry Garcia and is funny as heck and two his words were far more kind and I took them to heart.
“We all have bad nights, do this as long as you want to, whether you go pro or wind up with a really cool story for your grand-kids, it doesn’t matter. This is one of the scariest jobs on the planet. The fact that you got up there, says a lot.”
I’m back performing in Tulsa between trips to NY and my new voice feels more right than ever. When the notice for a dojo led by Chili came across my Facebook feed, I jumped on it. Tuesday night close to a dozen want to be comics met at the Funny Bone, we shared parts of our sets, worked out kinks, gave each other advice and got to know each other.
On Wednesday night we ALL came back for a show case, including three people who’d never done a live show before. Their courage fueled mine. Chili hosted the night and Thaddeus Challis headlined. They were hilarious and they made it fun for us, which translated to us having fun on stage and made an enjoyable evening for the crowd.
That’s how it’s supposed to work, and most of the time it does.
While it’s true the world is full of egos, there are those who reach out, reach back, and give a hand up. Comics are some of the most generous people you will meet. They are generous with praise, encouragement, and laughter.
You don’t have to be a comic to be generous and kind, you can do that in your every day life.
What dreams do you have?
They don’t have to be something as scary as public speaking, they can be anything. Why not try. You may succeed, or you may wind up with a really cool story to tell your grand kids.
Either way is a win.
You got this, now go for it!