Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Serenity Gardens (04.09.18)

When I got onstage last night, I was still deciding if I was getting sick. Turns out I was. Photo by Kat.

Yesterday, I suspected something to be true, and as of this morning, I am 100% sure of it: I am sick, and it's pissing me off.

Look, I know everyone gets sick from time to time. This particular illness seems to be some standard virus that has taken up residence in my throat and sinuses, and if it follows the usual pattern will end up migrating down to my lungs and making my life fucking miserable over the next week or so. I have that to look forward to. It's probably a cold of some kind. It's probably not the end of the world, and yet still, I am annoyed, and have no choice other than to try and continue working and going on as usual. That's life.

Meanwhile, I feel like utter crap, and as I mentioned to my crowd last night at Serenity Gardens in Second Life, I was pretty convinced that I wasn't going to be able to do the show as of yesterday afternoon, when this crud first started coming on. It was right around the time of day yesterday when it was announced that the offices and home of Michael Cohen, Trump's attorney, had been raided by the FBI. At first, I thought I was feeling weird due to the adrenaline rush from hearing that news, but as the excitement wore down, the physical feelings remained. I nearly got in touch with Ilsa Flanagan so I could cancel in time for her to bring in a replacement artist. Instead, I decided to soldier on, and just hope that my voice would hold up for an hour of singing.

The Show Must Go On
Surprisingly, it did. Sometimes, as a performer, you can mentally work around the illness and get through the show. A big caveat: that can be done for one show or maybe two. For people on tour, people who act in ongoing theatrical productions, people who have to get on stage and be good night after night... well, it catches up with you eventually and the results are not worth it. Performing takes a ton of energy, and if you're good, it's physically and emotionally exhausting. It's difficult even when healthy. When you're ill and your body needs its extra reserves of energy, performing while sick can be a really bad idea.

One good thing about playing in virtual worlds: no need to blow one's avatar nose. Photo by Kat.

Still glad I did the show. It made me happier than I would have otherwise been. Photo by Kat.

Nevertheless, we ended up having a really solid show, with an excellent crowd and a set list that went over super well. Unintentionally, I'd pulled our a batch of tunes that were in the early '80s alternative/new wave genre, and they really seemed to resonate with the audience. As I said, I was happy that I was just able to get through the songs, but everything also went very well performance-wise. I basically got lucky; it could have easily turned the other way.

The only other thing to note in regard to this show is that it was the first time I've performed "Beacon", the song that Jon Larson and I wrote in tribute to victims of gun violence, and whose proceeds are being donated to March For Our Lives Action Fund. I wasn't sure how this duet would go being done by a solo performer, but I thought it was pretty good, and the crowd seemed to agree.

Serenity Gardens set list...
Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (Neil Young)
Pink Moon (Nick Drake)
Everlong (Foo Fighters)
Walk on the Ocean (Toad the Wet Sprocket) 
*Beacon (Claxton & Larson)
*Major Tom (Peter Schilling)
Perfect Day (Lou Reed)
Spirits in the Material World (The Police)
Blew the Dust Away (They Stole My Crayon)
Box by the Cliff (They Stole My Crayon)
Save It For Later (English Beat)
Radio Free Europe (R.E.M.)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.

Big thanks to all who came out to the show, with special thanks to the following who helped support it!
go2smoky Resident, Tpenta Vanalten, Sesh Kamachi, Trouble Streeter, TheaDee Resident, Aurelie Chenaux, Triana Caldera, Kat Claxton, my lovely manager Maali Beck, and the great team at Serenity Gardens, Tilly Rose and Ilsa Wilde.