I’ve performed on stages all over the world but yesterday had to be the most nerve-racking and meaningful performance of my life. It was my daughter’s first PIMPBOT show.
As a temperamental toddler, approaching her “terrible twos,” I was prepared for any reaction to my performance… so I thought. As I looked back at my drummer to count in the first song, our show started like any other. I said greeted the audience over the song’s intro and scanned over the audience. As I held my trombone to my lips, I focused on my daughter front and center. She stared right at me and started shaking her hips. I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. Behind my Wayfarer sunglasses, tears began to well.
I’ve never had to sing while trying to hold back tears. I found out what happens is that you end up singing horribly. I mentally scrambled to regain composure. A song later, I missed a verse. Luckily my band is talented to recover and had no idea what was wrong with me. They were probably thinking, “Geez, is he THAT hammered?”
Since that performance 12 hours ago, I’ve been wondering what brought on this emotional breakdown. As far as I can conclude, it was just a ton of emotions surging through me at once and it was more than I could bear. Here were a few of the things running through my mind.
Ultimate Approval: Musicians have their own versions of success that drive them. For some, it’s landing a record deal. For others, it’s just scoring a couple of free drinks and getting laid that night. My views of musical success have changed throughout my career. However, I realized yesterday that having my own flesh and blood approving music that I’ve been working on for over a decade is the only success I care about. With each hip movement, I realized that it was all worth it – the late night practices, the grueling tours, everything. The blood sweat and tears of my career were suddenly validated with a few simple hip movements. Imagine that.
Three Women: I am only the man I am today because of the women in my life. Without the support of my wife, daughter and mother, I have no motivation whatsoever. From the makeshift stage, I was able to see all three of them in one glance. I looked at these three beautiful, strong-willed, women and I realized how lucky I am to have them in my life. Because of them, I am unstoppable.
Pride: I’m not sure what a father is supposed to be like. I’ve never had one. Christians have always told me that it’s okay because I have a heavenly father. I’m sure that’s fun to say but have you ever tried playing a game of catch with your heavenly father? He doesn’t catch the ball when you throw it. I’ve been winging this whole dad thing for two years and I’m guessing I’m at the very least doing better than my dad because… well… I’m here. When I look at my daughter, sometimes I get upset that she doesn’t have any grandfathers that claim her. However I’m proud of myself for showing her a love that was instilled in me from my family. I pour my love onto her daily. I want her to know how special she is and that she is capable of doing anything. Any sign of joy in her heart, whether it be a smile, an excited scream or dance, is a tenfold return. She is learning new things everyday and I’m proud of the smart and adorable little girl that she is turning into.
After the show, I walked my mother back to her car and shared my experience that I just had on stage. She told me she knows exactly what I’m talking about. She says she feels the same thing when she watches me perform.
Circle of life, I suppose.
Happy Martin Luther King Day.