Every Second Life musician without fail will recognize the following scenario.
Musician: Hey, come to my show tonight!
Fan #1: I'd love to, but I have a bowling league semifinal.
Fan #2: I wish I could, but it's my son's school band's winter concert tonight.
Fan #3: Aw, I already promised Gooby McGoober that I'd go to his show.
Fan #4: Yay! Oh damn, I just remember it's my company's holiday party tonight.
And so on. This is just a fact of life: you compete with life itself when you do any kind of artistic performance, and quite often life wins. And it should; the fact is that every performer out there should be grateful that anyone at all ever comes to see them. It's way too easy to fall into the trap of taking your supporters for granted. The minute you start expecting people to be there time and time again (and getting disappointed when that's not the case), you've crossed over into the Douche Zone.
If I had a band, there might have been more people onstage than in the audience when we started the set. Photo by Kat.
But wait... there's more. Sometimes, as a live performer in any environment, you're not only in competition for folks' time versus their other life activities, but also up against other forms of entertainment as well. For example, you probably don't want to schedule a show during the Super Bowl. You're likely to lose that battle. But even under less severe cases, the fact is that there are a lot of choices in entertainment, and you can't expect to be the #1 draw every night. Actually, you can, but you're guaranteed to end up bitter and resentful when it inevitably doesn't work out that way all the time.
All this is a long lead up to saying that my debut at the Warehouse of Grove Country Club Estates in Second Life wasn't exactly a headline-inspiring event. My Zaksters superfans were nearly all preoccupied with other things, and the club (which is think is relatively new) apparently doesn't have a big draw on its own, at least for live performers. The upshot of that is that I began my show to a nearly empty house, which doesn't happen very often for me. Despite that, I did what I always do... play music and have fun. The manager/host there, Samantha Ohrberg, seems like a very nice person who understands that not every show at every venue will be a packed house. Many of the constantly successful venues in SL have taken months or even years to become a "go-to" destination that gets a good crowd at every event.
We actually ended up with a happy little crowd as the show went on. Life's too short to spend time whining instead of appreciating what you've got. Photo by Kat.
I think those who did come to the Warehouse ended up having a good time, as did I. I can't ask for more than that, and I don't. Photo by Kat.
We did end up getting enough people there to feel like the show was worthwhile for everyone involved, and I especially want to thank my friends Christine Haiku and Sesh Kamachi for showing up and immediately improving my woeful attitude. Musically, the show went fine, and my voice seemed to be behaving itself.
Warehouse/Grove Estates Set List...
Waterloo Sunset (The Kinks)
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Caxton)
Rikki Don't Lose That Number (Steely Dan)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
California (Joni Mitchell)
1979 (Smashing Pumpkins)
Fire & Rain (James Taylor)
On The Way Home (Neil Young)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Tea in the Sahara (The Police)
Improvised Outro Tune (Zak Claxton)
Many thanks to those who made it out to support the show! You rule!
Sher Salmson, Sesh Kamachi, Christine Haiku, Christine Haiku, Christine Haiku, Christine Haiku, Christine Haiku, Christine Haiku, Christine Haiku, Christine Haiku, Christine Haiku, Christine Haiku (seriously Haiku, this is my revenge for your tip jar shenanigans), Kat Claxton, my manager Maali Beck, and the Warehouse's Samantha Ohrberg!