Nice Weekend in Tucson
I was, for some inexplicable reason, a tad nervous for the first two suites of my set. There weren't many people there yet, which made it all the more mysterious, so I thought I'd blog about how I deal with nerves during a performance. First of all, in a two-hour set, I know I'm going to get over it, and knowing it's only temporary helps a lot. Second, it's not possible for me to be overly nervous if I... smile. Seriously. I'm not talking about an ear-to-ear, but just a little Mona Lisa smile. It really relaxes me.
By the time I got to the last piece in the second suite, Eric Johnson's Desert Song, I was in the groove and getting some positive feedback from the audience, so I was good to go from that point forward. By the time I got to Spanish Fly at the end of the third suite, I was rippin'. I even had audience members - guitar players, obviously - asking me about my sound system and fake nails after a while: Once I know I've "got 'em" there is no stopping me.
This simple trick - smiling when I'm feeling nervous - has been a huge help to me, so remember: Play Happy!
Peg, my manager, had found a nice area of southern Arizona near the border with Mexico that she wanted to show me, so I stayed over Sunday and we did a little sight seeing. The Nature Conservancy has a small preserve down there, the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, and we took a little hike... well, "walk through" would be more accurate. Saw a doe and spotted fawn, but I'm just unfamiliar enough with the iPhone's camera that I missed that particular "Kodak Moment"... and I missed the numerous grayhawks too. But I did get a go at a non-moving target.
There was an enormous cottonwood tree deep in the preserve. I didn't think they got quite this large.
The thing is truly huge. Here I am at the base of the tree - where I took the above photo - for some Hucbaldian perspective. Keep in mind that I'm 6'2"/200... OK, 215, but I'm working on it. I've gone from a 38" to a 36" waist this summer, and should be back into my old 34's by Thanksgiving. Sitting around practicing all day - even when you jog and Bowflex like I do - is no good when you're 40-something and have the metabolism of a sloth. Anyway...
It was a great weekend, and some high cloud cover gave us some protection from the notorious Arizona "Hammer of God" sun. I'm scheduled to go back for another gig in Tucson in December. Can't wait.
By popular demand, more of the Falconress, this time sans bird.