There's something I briefly mentioned not long ago in regard to my bi-weekly Monday evening shows at Serenity Gardens in Second Life: during the fall and winter, I am in direct competition from an entertainment standpoint to one of the USA's most powerful entities: the National Football League. Don't laugh; it's 100% true. Since debuting in 1970, MNF has been one of the highest-rated prime time programs on television. So, for my shows between September and January, I am fully aware that a certain percentage of people want to get home from work, put their feet up, and watch the game.
Do I blame them? Hell no! I've been a football fan since I was a little kid. I participate every year in football pools, and spend plenty of time discussing the sport with like-minded friends (I'm looking at you, Jess Smith, whom Christina calls my "football wife" due to our steady stream of NFL-related chats, often on Sundays). I've heard people say that folks who would be likely to be in Second Life aren't usually football fans. Guess what? That's not true. Like any cross-segment of the population, some are, and some aren't. So I am perfectly fine with accepting that some folks will want to watch the game instead of listening to me do live music, and that is perfectly fine.
Do I expect that more people will be interested in my little live music show than perhaps the best football game ever? No. No, I don't. Rams/Chiefs photo via Sports Illustrated.
The Attention Battle
As a performer of any sort, you are constantly in a battle for people's time and attention. Even among the segment of people who might really like my music, not everyone feels like sitting in front of a computer at all moments of their day. People like to read, spend time with their loved ones, watch TV, play video games, exercise, travel, go out to eat, and do creative stuff of their own. Also, even if you narrow the focus down to "people who happen to be in SL on a Monday night", I'm not the only musical performer playing shows at my time slot, and people might very well choose to see another show... or to build, or to socialize, or do things other than be at my show.
All of that is fine. I am not the type of person who views it as a competition. Whatever folks want to do is cool with me, and if they choose to check out my show and enjoy themselves, all the better. But not checking out my show is cool too. Do what you feel like doing! Life's too short to spend your free time doing things you don't really feel like doing. I'm always glad when people come to my show, because that means they chose to see me out of literally thousands of other things they could do at that moment. It's quite flattering, no matter if it's nine people or 90.
One thing (of many) that I admire about Serenity Gardens: Ilsa always changes up the decor to match the season, and the place always looks lovely. Photo by Kat.
Why Are You Writing About This?
Why am I writing about this? Because last night, as I strummed and sang for the folks at Serenity Gardens, there was what might be the most epic Monday Night Football game in history going on at the same time. If you haven't heard (or, in some cases, don't care), the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs went into the game as two of the top teams in football, both with 9-1 records. Everyone knew going in that this highly-anticipated game would be big, but few would have predicted it would end up being the highest-scoring game in MNF history, with a combined point total of 105 points (the Rams, perhaps due to home field advantage, ended up beating the Chiefs 54-51 in a hard-fought battle). Some people as of this morning are already calling it one of the greatest NFL games ever played.
I guess the reason I'm mentioning this is as follows: no matter what it is that you like to do, I never want anyone who comes to my shows to feel obligated to do so. If you have something else going on that you really enjoy, or some special event, or whatever... I will never be upset or annoyed that you don't come to every one of my shows! From time to time, I have people contact me to tell me that they had to miss the show for some reason or another, and that's nice of them to do so. But be aware: there has never, and never will be, a time that your presence at my show is an obligation. I won't be hurt by your absence. Quite the opposite: I'm grateful for each show you attend, whether it's every time or a few times a year. But it's never mandatory, and if there's something else going on that you feel like doing while I'm playing music, do that thing, and come to another show when you feel like hanging with me. It's all good, and I'll be happy to see you whenever you come around again.
Ah yes, the show. It was a good one! I was in a somewhat silly mood, probably because my previous show was a bit more serious. We had a nice crowd at Serenity Gardens, and folks seemed to be enjoying my musical antics. I did manage to get one previously-unperformed cover song into the set, which was fun, along with a few rarities from my repertoire. My voice and guitar were both, for the most part, doing what I wanted them to do, which is always a bonus.
Serenity Gardens set list...
Airport Bar (Martin Courtney)
I’ve Been Waiting for You (Neil Young)
Rocket Man (Elton John)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
The Arrangement (Joni Mitchell)
Don’t Let It Pass (Junip)
*You Wreck Me (Tom Petty)
Box by the Cliff (They Stole My Crayon)
Everlong (Foo Fighters)
Long Time Gone (Crosby, Stills and Nash)
Tribute (Tenacious D)
*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.
Big thanks to the folks who weren't watching the game while I was rocking... especially the following who helped support the show!
Asimia Heron, Kat Chauveau, go2smoky Resident, Trouble Streeter, Eli Schlegal, Kat Claxton, Tyche Szondi, TheaDee Resident, my fine manager Maali Beck, and the fabulous team at Serenity Gardens, Tilly Rose and Ilsa Wilde.