Letters to the Chapel: Open mic night

Posted: April 25, 2016 in Uncategorized
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The lights were dim, the people were ready for the show to begin, but I wasn’t. I rehearsed this song almost a dozen times, but now, in front of people, I felt sick to my stomach. The fear of puking on stage was unbearable to think of, but I was already on the stage, there was no time for me to back out. It’s not like I had the choice to do so, anyways. I promised my friend that we would go through with this, he was excited to be the lead guitarist, and the backup to me. I think he wanted to play this show, even more than I did. He was strapped up and tuned in hours before I even had my pants on. He was ready, I wasn’t. The show started with a few acts that were mediocre, which could have been from their lack of musical talent, or it could have been the songs they chose, either way, I knew we would at least do better than they did. With each person going up to the stage, I saw that my name was getting closer to the top. Soon enough, I saw that I was on deck.
   I can’t explain how I felt while reading my name. I was so nervous of messing up, I almost left, but as I walked to the side door, to go down stairs, my back-up ran over to me. He grabbed me by the shoulder, and told me that we needed to practice, one more time, before the show started. I glimpsed into his pride-filled eyes and shook my head. As a child in a toy store, he shimmered into the “practice room”, a small room on the side of the stage, no bigger than 15 feet each way. It was a very small room, which made it even worse as I couldn’t breath as it was, now we get to suffocate in this room. This night was going to end in a distaste; I just knew it! He shut the door softly behind us, the music in the background started to slow down, indicating the last act was about to end. There wouldn’t be enough time for us to practice, no, we only had time to tune and get out on stage. But for some reason the guy still wanted to practice, so I humored him.
    I started to strum my guitar quickly, ending the song minutes before the original, he shook his head, but then laughed. With a sweaty lip, I chuckled and gave him a high-five. The last act came rushing through the door, they were excited, way too excited. They were slapping each others hand, as a sign of “amazing job, I love you.” Ignoring them, I listened for the que to go on the stage, and seconds later, the pastor called us out. She sounded very excited to see what we had in hold. I might have talked us up a bit, as a note, but she seemed really happy to say my name. I sent the lead out first, then I made a dramatic entrance.
   The crowd was nerve wracking, they all stared blankly onto the stage, as if I wasn’t on the stage, already. With blood rushing through my head and down my arms, causing sweat pits to form, I began to play happy birthday. I happened to learn it at the same time as the song, so I wanted to honor the pastors B-day. The crowd stood in awe, as I finished the recognition, as did the pastor. She had a small tear in her eye as she said thanks. I smiled and told her that we loved her, she responded the same way. Now, I had no tricks up my sleeve, it was solely time for me to play the song, I had been practicing, all week. It was “How he loves us by David Crowder Band.” I happened to hear it on a radio station, and loved it. When the church announced a open-mic night, I rushed to my friend, and told him we had to do it. With one week left, I had to, not only learn the song, I also had to teach the song in the way I wanted to play it. It took hours, each day, but finally, on the night before, after hours of practicing, we finally hit every note. We were ready, until we got to the church. But now we were here, in front of the crowd, it was now time to prove that the week wasn’t a waste.
    I put my mouth against the microphone and spoke to the crowd. I remember the crowd telling me to push against the mic, since they couldn’t hear me. But the closer I got, to the crowd, the more nervous I got. After getting the mic to cooperate with me, I began to strum softly. I told the crowd what we were about to sing, but in the middle of my speech, I hear the soft hum of an electric guitar. My side-kick made it easy for me to start, as he began to play; though I am not a good singer, that night my heart was in it, causing my voice to soar. The comparison could be made to a white dove. But as I finished the first verse, I lost track, and my lead began to go to fast, losing his rhythm. With his rhythm gone, the song was likely going to fail. I turned around, after the first verse, and let out a moan. I was mad, angry, pissed. I am glad that the string were new, because they took a mighty beating that night. I looked at my lead, he looked at me knowing I was pissed. But I couldn’t stop the song, I had one option, to play through it. I turned back around, and started the song from the first verse, again. The crowd seem to like this rendition, but I hated it.
   The rest of the performance, even after nailing the tricky bridge, I had the beginning stuck in my head. I tried to shake it, but I couldn’t. After a week of practicing, we still messed up. I was in outer shock, but as I wrapped the song up, the crowd went wild. I tipped my guitar at the crowd, showing my appreciation, and told everyone to have a good night. As I left the stage, a crowd of young adults met me, they were all congratulating me on my performance, I said thanks, still in annoyance of my performance. I went to the back of the church and took a seat. Before I knew it, the night was over. The talent was gone, and the show was over. It was now the time for the supper. The best part, other than this being my first show, of this night. There was chili; nothing in this world is better than chili.
   As I walked down stairs, I lost the anger behind the verse, I messed up on, and found happiness in my accomplishment. Maybe I did mess up, but that’s okay. The best part is that I never gave up! Even if I failed, I can still say that I finished the song, where most would have ran away, crying their eyes out. 

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Impromtdude @ Facebook.com/impromtdude

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