Friday, September 14, 2012

I Played the REAL L.A.

Last Night I played in L.A.

I was honored to be one of the artists featured at the L.A. Song Writer Festival. Getting recognition in L.A. is a pretty big deal. I remember being a 13 year old kid with a guitar and a dream. I used to imagine how it'd be to wow the regulars at some L.A. venue. And last night I was there. I had made it. Last night I played along side some of L.A.'s finest talent. And I felt like I belonged. ......Finally my songs had made an impression on L.A.

Lower Alabama.

Sure the show was at an American Legion in Lower Alabama ("L.A.") and not the Viper Room on Sunset. Sure  the room was filled with regular, salt of the Earth folks instead of movie stars. But as I sat there last night I had to smile to myself. I sat there and absolutely enjoyed listening to, playing with and playing for a true listening room audience and a group of amazing seasoned songwriting veterans. I had accomplished my "L.A." dreams without knowing.

I realized that my "L.A. Dreams" had come true a long long way from California, but they had come true nonetheless.

The reality I experienced last night was drastically ......almost unrecognizably different than the ideas that were in the head of younger me. But as I sat in that room last night it was blatantly obvious to me that those kid's dreams of mine were reality.

I sat among some of the best song writers and performers I have ever heard and I played my creations. I played them to the full house and people enjoyed them.

You see the "L.A. Dreams" I had in my head as a kid involved celebrities and velvet roped V.I.P. rooms and all sorts of pomp and circumstance that was missing at last night's show.

But the thought occurred to me: My younger dream had surely come true. It may have appeared that the Fairhope, Alabama American Legion post failed to live up to the grandeur of that Hollywood Club I envisioned or that the good people of the Gulf Coast were paltry in comparison to my imagined star-studded crowd , but that couldn't be more incorrect.

It was a different scene than I imagined it'd be, but that was because my young mind couldn't grasp the power and beauty of the simple.

The show last night was powerful not inspite of its simplicity, it was powerful because of it.

All the goofy trappings I had fantasized about in my youthful ignorance were nowhere to be found. That didn't lessen the power of the situation. It increased it. By having the silly , unnecessary sparkle and glitter of Hollywood stripped away, I saw what my actual dream was. I saw what the dream had always been.

The dream was to create art that I am proud of. I had done that.

The dream was to garner the respect of my fellow artists. I (felt like) I had done that.

And the dream was to play my songs for people who actually care about songs. I was currently doing that.

I was "Living the Dream". Truly.

Don't get me wrong, last night wasn't the first time I realized I am "Living the dream". As a matter of fact I feel like the luckiest guy alive most days. I truly get amazed a lot of the time that my life is so full and happy and filled with great people. But last night I did have a revelation about that younger dream of mine.

Had the 13 year old me stuck his head in last night, he would have ignorantly thought it was far beneath his ideal dream gig. But that wasn't because the gig was lacking. Far from it. He would've thought the gig / venue beneath his fantasy gig because his understanding was lacking.

All the additional elements of the fantasy gig I used to have were fake. Last night was real. The people were real. The artists were real. And most importantly the songs were real.

Last night, that American Legion WAS the dream gig. Last night was what all the struggle has been for. And worth every bead of sweat I've shed chasing it.

So I wanna say Thank you to every one in Fairhope who came to the American Legion last night.

You made the "L.A. Dreams" of a young man come true in ways he couldn't even imagine.

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