At the time this photo was taken, I felt exposed. I felt vulnerable. Yes, I felt joy. Yes, I felt happiness. But I wasn’t comfortable. It’s all so new to me, this here “artist” thing. I’ve been honing my skills solely as a supporting musician. I grew up as a drummer. I grew up only mumbling harmonies under my breath, so I wouldn’t be judged harshly by family members that had more experience in the matter.
Couple that with the fact that I grew up on the edge of society (by choice), and I still feel extremely anxious about being the center of attention. I’m introverted and introspective by nature, and to have a spotlight on me is nerve-wracking. Then I went ahead and made it my job (smart move, me.) Yes, I’m bubbly as hell around my peoples, but I’m not extroverted by heart. I’ve had to learn that, and I’m still learning that. Now lump all that in with general inexperience in a new form of artistry, and you have this fetal ball of a boy that is me.
What’s strange is you’d think 13+ years of honing my craft as a percussionist would have some withstanding effect on my confidence in other facets of music, but oh boy, you’d be wrong. I’ve been dropped headfirst into the opposite side of the musical spectrum, and the amount of work I can see I still have to go through is staggering. It’s damn near crippling. But make no mistake, I recognize my own talents where they stand, and I’m INCREDIBLY humbled that people appreciate what I can do right now. I am supa, dupa, troopa grateful that I’ve been given an inherent gift that I get to mold into something even better. It’s just so easy to let lauding and adoration blind you into thinking that you’re farther along than you actually are.
It’s only been a year since I decided to be/do a lil’ bit of everything, and this show was the first time that really hit home for me. With this newfound ability and direction, I’ve been forced to try so many new things, and IN FRONT OF PEOPLE (AAAHHH), so I have yet to hone most of these new talents. I’ve never needed to be “the” performer, just one of them. So how does one develop 13+ years worth of performance experience in a few months? How do I catch up with myself? These are the questions I’ve been struggling with since the show. That’s part of the standard I hold myself up to, and I don’t feel I match it yet.
So how do I get there? What’s the next step? I could stay content with the love and support I’m receiving at present and stay uncomfortable in the shadows. OR. I can make myself better, and make myself more akin to what you guys see in me. And I can be okay with taking the time out to do so. So I think that’s what I’ll do.
So in closing, I want say thanks. Thank you to every single person who has been following me on this strange journey. Thank you for helping me learn and grow and love. As for Montreal specifically, being here is always a treat. But this time around, I’ve been blessed enough to undergo important life lessons. So thank you to Frase W Dub for staying in touch with me all these years, and really putting his faith in me. Thank you to Emily Jean Honegger for being so kind as to let me into her space for so long. Thank you to Éloi Le Blanc-Ringuette for making me feel so welcome in such a new environment, and making me appreciate abstract art even more than I already do. Thank you to Jamal Davis for helping me learn to forgive, and being a friend. Thank you to Florence Yee for showing me that she’s flourishing. Thank you to Jeena Ragheb for being a woman of her word and inspiring me.
2016 has been a doozy. Let’s see what happens next.
TL;DR: Yo, I suckle live, but I’ll get better. and thanks. <3
EDIT: Emily says don’t say I suck, so I’ll say that I suckle
EDIT 2: also, s/o to Ryan for showing me what Captain Morgan tastes like and Arthur for uncovering my crafty and sly side