My first open mic experience!

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On Friday evening, I went to the Haven café in Cork to be a part of their weekly open mic night.

I remember when I woke up that morning, I was so excited and I just couldn’t wait for it! But waiting was all I would get to do on this fateful day. I mean, it was on at 8, so basically, ten hours after my breakfast, but there was more to it than I had bargained for. Once more, my patience & resolution were put to the test.

So, at around 7PM, this bright, hopeful cookie was at the door, with my host mom’s acoustic guitar (right-handed 😥 !), heading to the bus stop. I got there and was fifteen minutes early for my bus, so feeling pretty confident about making it on time (my intention to get there at least fifteen minutes early so I could cool down from the walking). That was all until I got caught up in a crowd of teenagers. I swear there were at least 40 of them. There were too many for me to be comfortable. And I was convinced there would be no room for me in the bus. Also, they were rude & pretty stupid. They were making fun of me, little did they know that I speak French and can sometimes understand some Spanish. *frowny face*

This eventually lead me to give up on my bus and walk down to Douglas to catch another bus. The buses down there get to the city much faster anyways, so I figured I’d be fine even though it was already quarter to by the time I got down there.

I had some time before the bus so I went to the bathroom. I was already so sweaty and tired. And I’m not gonna lie, this had already killed my spirit a little bit, but I had to keep going! So I got on the bus, and there, lovely surprise, the card machine was broken, therefore I didn’t have to pay for the bus! I sat down, quite satisfied of this small victory, and tried my best to breathe, calm down. In five minutes I would be in the city now. Except, no..

The bus had to make a little detour to the bus house thingy where all the buses go to sleep after their shift. What for? Well, to get a new card machine… That took us at least three minutes and I swear at this point, I was losing it. And when we eventually left, we had to stop again as the bus was making this high-pitched noise. Two more minutes. I was dying. Then, finally, we made it to the city.

Once again, I was walking so fast as if my life depended on it. I was three to four minutes away from the café, which was all the way to the other side of the quay. Now, you have to remember that there was no rush, had decided that there should be one. You know how it is once I set my mind on an idea… I really wanted to be there early, and since I wasn’t, my brain was on the “I’m late” mode. It was 8:03… Drama queen, I know!

Anyways, so I got there, really glad to see my friend Kart again! And Pete, a fellow singer-songwriter. (He is really good at playing the guitar, and plays the harmonica at the same time!) So, at last, amongst familiar faces, I could sit and enjoy the rest of the host’s performance. Kart then introduced me to everyone and then the magical night could begin…

The venue was a very cosy one. The stage was literally the back of the room, which made you level with everyone, which I guess contributed to the whole atmosphere. Everyone was friendly and supportive! It was definitely one of the best choices for a first time!!

I was third to perform! Which could I’ve freaked me out, but it didn’t! I remember that morning I kept having flashbacks to my theater performances from high school and university. I’ve actually always been quite fine with talking publicly and usually, being on a stage enhances my abilities! I remember when we used to rehearse our scenes in the classroom, I was “okay”, but every end of the year, when we would perform them on the stag, I would magically blow everyone away. But, guess I was a bit rusty…. It’s been more than three years since I’ve hit the stage after all…

Talking was fine. Although I did say “Hi!” AND “Hello!”. Like, what? These were exactly the two words I had forbidden myself to say as I was rehearsing that morning because I can never say them properly. I know it sounds stupid, but I can’t ever say a simple hi or hello, it always has to be weird. But it was okay nonetheless. I introduced myself and the song, and after that, I’m not sure what happened.

My voice was a little shaky but I tried as well as I could to keep it somewhat on track. Thing is, I was exhausted from all the running I did before, and my throat was as well, as I pushed a little too much during rehearsal that morning. So, I wasn’t breathing, projecting or even putting any emotion in it. It’s almost as if I wasn’t there. I was doing it, barely trying. I definitely did not give it all I had.

There was barely any energy. Breathing almost non existent. Therefore my vocals weren’t on point. Yet, somehow, it wasn’t so bad. And you know what? I picked two songs I know really well, which I would therefore not mess up too much, if at all, right? And, I forgot some of the lyrics in the Brandi song?? And then almost messed up a word in my own song???!!

What I am proud of though is that I kept going after the mess ups! Which is exactly what you should do, right?! Don’t let them know, show must go on! So, I guess that even though my vocals weren’t exactly my best and didn’t display a nice percentage of my abilities, I still handled the situation okayly. Considering the nerves and exhaustion!

But that it just my side of the story!

Everyone else actually enjoyed it. Which, I guess is what should matter in this situation! I mean, the point of a performance is to share, right? So, as much as you should enjoy it; what truly matters is if the audience enjoys it!

I got some nice clapping, which was quite confusing because I did not consider myself that good. So I figured they were just being polite.. But then, at the end of the night, when we were all packing to go home, I had many of the musicians come to me and tell me they really enjoyed my original song. And I was really surprised! Sadly, I was definitely getting sleepy by then and wasn’t exactly the most social being, all I could say was “thanks, thanks, haha, sure, yeah”.

I also had a little chat with the sound guy(??i think??), he was telling me how it was a nice song, and how it’s great to be able to tell a story. AND, he told me about a recording session thingy that they do in the café every Thursday evenings and that I should definitely drop by one time, to maybe record one of my songs. So, I’ll probably check it out this week and you will definitely hear about it if I do(which I will)!

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The Haven Café, Friday 13th, July 2018

So, that was it for my first ever musical performance, guys! It wasn’t as magical as I had imagined, it was in fact, pretty normal. But I enjoyed every bit of it!

I loved the supportive atmosphere and the diversity of the performances! Watching others play was both, entertaining, and educating. There is loads to learn from just watching people with more experience! Which reminds me of this quote from Frank Iero: “The best way to become a better player is to play with someone better than you“.

Everyone was so talented! And watching them share their personal songs like this was just, wow! And I remember the last one especially, he blew me away with his guitar skills. My eyes were struggling to keep open, but I swear I didn’t dream it! I don’t really remember people’s name, but I will learn them eventually! I’m definitely going back next Friday anyway, so I’ll probably see all of them again!

The venue was really nice and definitely the best for a first time! I’m so glad that Kart recommended it to me! She is such a good person! So nice to me and always introducing me to everyone and taking pictures! Bless her soul!!

Sadly, we didn’t get any videos of the night. Which at first I thought was a bummer, but then, on the bus back home, I realized it wasn’t so much of a bad thing not to have a physical trace of this first time. It wasn’t so bad, but I’d rather not have physical proof of it, you know what I mean? I’ll always have a nice memory of it and that is more than enough!! He he

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So, what I gathered from this first performance is that I need to work thrice as hard and twice as fast! I was definitely not satisfied with my performance so you can be sure that this hardworking cookie is going to get even more serious about things from now on!

Next time, I will actually give it my best and maybe get a video! 😉 And, I will get better, and better, and better, and better, and better, and better!

Here’s to more performances!!

I will be going to a different open mic on Monday night! And then once again to that one on Friday! Then the same one next Monday. And then probably going to fancy Gallagher’s on the Wednesday after that! And hopefully, that will keep going for the rest of the summer holidays?

We’ll see how it goes, and of course, I will keep updates on my journey as regular as they come on my precious, precious little blog!

 

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Dry Mouth (Original Song)

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Here’s a song I wrote a couple of weeks ago about not being able to write songs:

My voice had some trouble coming out (you should have heard me warming up… a disaster! hehe) and my fingers had forgotten how to dance, but in my opinion, this is still pretty decent. Especially with the huge lack of practice + unhealthy amount of caffeine in my body!

I will be recording a better video next week, but for now that’ll be it! I’ve just been dying to share it, and after those long four days of break, I was bursting to share it.

The ending still needs some work. Which, of course, you can’t really tell since I mess it up in this video, haha! But overall, I think this is a really good song. I love the melody and how the chorus picks up.

I think it accurately describes my frustration and this longing… I just want to create but, sometimes it just won’t happen, and it kills me because this is how I breathe. And like I have mentioned, I do have loads of song ideas, drafts and things to say; but it won’t come out.

And I think it is funny how this song literally dropped out of my mouth while I was crying about not being able to finish the others. It’s almost the exact same story as when I wrote Dead Pen a couple of years back!

Round in circles…

Anyways, I don’t have time to chat right now! I must work on my Italian now and then finish working on special presents for E!

Here are the words that did come out:

It’s not that I don’t have anything to say
It’s just that my words have left me
It’s not that my heart isn’t broken
It’s just that my mouth is dry

I’ve been waiting for so long
For the words to fall right out
But my guts refuse to bleed
So I’ll just have to wait here

I hear my voice but I don’t know who she is
I write down words but they mean nothing to me
I stab my own heart but the blood it won’t come out
It’s just like my soul is dry

I’ve been waiting for so long
For my hands to dance freely
My fingers refuse to bleed
So I’ll just have to wait…

I’ll wait forever if I have to
It’s nothing without me, I’m nothing without this
I’ll wait…
I just don’t wanna fade..

I’ve been waiting for so long
For my voice to burst right out
But my heart it just won’t show
So I’ll just have to wait.

Home is calling.

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Sometimes I close my eyes and it’s like I’m already there. The warm lights, the warm smiles and the drums in my chest.

And when I open them, only to find out that I am still so far from where I want to be, that heart of mine sinks in my chest.

It is hard, at times, to keep going when all you do never seems enough. It is hard to keep running towards those new horizons when all you do feels like running in circles.

But the one thing that is harder, is giving it all up.

I would never conceive a life without music and a future where I’m not there. My mind can imagine loads of things but that is the one thing that defines “impossible” to me.

And why would I give up anyway? I can feel myself getting closer and closer.

And as I slowly approach this dreamland, it only gets harder and more frustrating. The challenges flow and it’s not easy to follow.

But I can hear them.

Out of my window.

When I close my eyes.

When I lay in bed.

When I breathe.

I can hear the voices. I can see the lights. I can feel my pulse and almost feel my smile.

I feel it in my heart, my bones; my soul.

I can hear the stage as it’s calling me.

It’s closer by the day.

I might be crazy but I believe.

I’m on my way.

I like the idea of a future because although it never comes, it’s somehow always happening” – Hotel Books

Until next post, keep believing and don’t stop trying. Make things happen! ❤

A Ticking Cage (original song)

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Here’s that song I wrote the other day. Once again, it’s short but I like it! I only wish I had been able to record a better take, but I really wanted to post it today, so, here goes…

It’s about wasting your time and being fully aware of it. You know, sometimes you just can’t stop doing nothing even though you know you’ve got other REAL stuff to do…

Here are the lyrics:

I’m sitting here I’ve got nothing to do
I’m sitting here I’ve got nothing to do
I’m sitting here I’ve got loads of things to do
I’m sitting here I’m just wasting my time

Time that I know I should spend wisely
Time is a bastard it won’t wait for me
Time that I know that I don’t have
But I never learn

I’m sitting here just playing the same tune
I’m sitting here I’ve got nothing to do
I’m sitting here I’m not alive anymore
What time is it? Never mind, I don’t care..

Maybe it’s time to learn from your mistakes!
Will I ever learn?

Well……

No!

And well, actually, I am learning. The hard way! Lolzor

Just one word on the title though. Where it comes from:

  1. The four power chords used form a sort of cage which the song is trapped in
  2. That slippery slope that are distractions and over-chill. Sometimes it’s like being in a cage and unable to escape as your time just runs away from you.

Until next post, just go for it! ❤

What Are You Without Me? (Original song)

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I’m so happy to finally be able to post something again in that category! It’s nothing too wow but here’s an original song that I wrote earlier this month. It’s short but I like it that way. Hear me struggle on the guitar:

I literally wrote it in under two minutes while I was on an idea spree! Which explains a lot, I guess.. Ha ha!

If I’m being honest, it’s about how sometimes, via social medias, I check on people who are not part of my life anymore. Just to see how they’re doing, what are they doing now but, honestly, more to see if my leaving their life has caused an impossible-to-fill void somewhere. I’m exaggerating, of course. But I think that we all have those little intrusive thoughts sometimes.

Are they happier without me? Do they miss me? What has my absence changed for them?

I personally know that, for some people that left, it does feel that way. They do leave a void. Which you can’t feel but you don’t to anyways so it’s fine. But for those I’m singing about, it doesn’t. I don’t know if you heard but I don’t miss them. Ha ha!

Sometimes I simply wonder if being without me is hard for them. Because they were such dicks to me and I kept giving my best till it all collapsed. I’d feel good knowing that they do miss me and have yet to find someone to care about them the way I did. But also, I don’t care.

Anyways. Fun song! Haha

What are you without me?

I need to know you’re doing worse

I need to prove to me my own worth

I need to know you’re not better off

I know it’s selfish

But you were such a bitch

I known it’s in the past

But my heart’s still in a cast

So, tell me you miss me

Show me you need me

Cos I don’t

But if you do, then I won’t

Tell you I miss you

Tell you that I need you

Cause I don’t!

I am the Fire||Looking (back) forward

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Hi! Today’s the last day of this long-ass month and I think it’s the perfect time for some introspection by looking at my past-self all the while focusing on the road ahead. So, let’s jump right in!

Following my post about frustration&cie, I tried recreating this picture of me taken when I was 16 and with my sweet Lady Revenge (on the right, obviously).

 

Note: I remember taking it myself and then pretending my little brother took it for me because, sometimes when you’re sixteen, it’s hard to admit that you took a selfie… Ha ha!

I’ve come a long way…

The other day, I had just finished my vocal practice of the day (half-assed) and ended up singing a little bit longer just to record my progress. And as I skipped from song to song, I ended up singing I Don’t Love You by My Chemical Romance.

I have a very sensitive relationship with this song and have actually rarely listened to it, especially since the break up. It makes me feel lots of things and I can’t handle it. But it’s one of my favorite songs by MCR. The melody and lyrics and the riffs are just beautiful. And as I sang it, it reminded me of my sixteen year old self. I remembered the struggles of my younger self and how I always had hope overcoming them. (When it comes down to singing at least.)

And I did.

I used to not be able to stay on key so well and let’s not even talk about my range or projection. My voice wouldn’t come out at all, it was a lot of throat, a lot of tension and so on. You get the idea. And now, as a not-so-far-from-22-year-old, I’ve learned so much and I’ve gained more control over my voice, and honestly, now there is really hopes that I can become a singer in this reality. he he

I am really happy to see and feel the progress that I’ve made! Even without working every single day nor as hard as I’d wish. Proof that no matter how little you do, you’re still doing something and still moving forward in the end!

And just yesterday, I was looking for an audio draft of a song that I recorded at some point when I was living on my own in Lille last year (and I found it, and I’m gonna finish writing it this upcoming month!) and oh, what I found! Gold.

I found my several attempts at an audio journal and also too many singing clips (much cringe). Now, I didn’t listen to all of it as I had something else in mind at the time, but… Wow. I sound much younger, even though it was only last year. And that, to me, is very surprising. But it’s not just that, I hear every subtlety of my suffering, struggling and the Act. It’s like watching a movie you wrote the script for. I’d guess. I don’t know.

It’s just like when I go through my pictures. I don’t know if it’s as obvious to others as it is to me, most probably not, but I see the change. I hear my voice and I hear all those differences. Not only technique-wise, but just, you know, my soul? I hear my soul. And I hear the wounds that were still so fresh and oozing out of my every sounds. And I see my face, and I see a completely different person. Some pictures even look like a complete stranger to me. And those smiles… G**, those smiles..

I know this is extremely obvious, so pardon me for saying but I need to…

I know exactly what I’ve been through. Obviously. (told you) And when I look at these pictures, when I hear my voice, it takes me straight back to then. I know it, I remember it but I also can feel how it is in what some would like to envision as “the past“. But what I feel most intensely is empathy or maybe even pity (??) for this young girl that I see/hear.

I used to be such a…. mess. And when I sit down now and look at her — me — I feel sorry  (?) for that person.

I feel the pain, I see all the cracks and I smell the decaying hopes. I see how miserable and desperate she is for some light, some love, anything. I hear how she fights but to what end? I know how she feels but I feel it in a different way now that those feelings aren’t truly my own anymore. And I feel so sorry. Because no one should feel like that and no one should be alone to face storms like that. And I wish I could have been her friend instead of my own enemy. But self-destruction has a way to seduce me, no matter how strong the warnings.

And, you know, all that empathy and humanity that I feel when I look at past-me? I realize as I type this, that, this is exactly what should be one of the pillars of self-love (like any other love), but it is hard to be like that to your present self though, isn’t it? I feel as though the only reason I actually am able to feel it now, and only now, is because she feels like a stranger now, she is in another chapter of my life, and therefore, I can see her for the human that she is. And I believe I must strive for this, a humanization of my own self. Dear ***, what have I become? Ha ha

Now, as much they hold heavy amounts of darkness and brokenness in them, I must hold on to these audios and pictures (and I think I aslo have a couple video journals somewhere). Not as an anchor to “the past” but more as reminder of where I’ve been. I gotta keep that weight on my feet, not on my shoulders, you know what I mean? I think it’s great to have these remnants of “the past” around and to be able to check them out whenever you need to.

Humans are very emotional creatures and I’m not gonna pretend that I am not attached to who I used to be and the memories. I must never forget. So I won’t lose myself. But also because, almost like a mother, I enjoy re-living the growth of that little girl that’s made me who I am today.

I’m really glad I made and kept these because, documenting my progress both as an artist and as a little human trying, is what keeps me progressing. Because, if I couldn’t look back and see that I’ve moved and I’ve become more, wouldn’t that kill the fire?

I know where I’ve been, I know where I am and I know where I’m going…

There is strength to be found in all “past” weaknesses and some more to be found in the uncertainty of whatever is to come. I remember everything and I pray I never forget, no matter how heavy it gets. Everything is fuel and I shall take as much as I can because it’s a very demanding journey.

Now, as much as I’m proud of all the progress I’ve made both as an artist and as a person, I’ve gotta keep looking forward and keep harvesting for fuel as I keep on blooming. I realize that I am constantly growing, even when I least expect it, and I must keep trying my hardest to get to where I wanna be.

I’ve come a long way but I’ve still got a long way to go. Good thing I’ve got a tank full of fuel, some good souls on my side and my loyal & dedicated self.

I’ve got my back!

 

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Until next post, keep at it whatever it is you love and remember who you are. You’ll get there! ❤

Three covers with Lady R.

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Reunited at last. And as much as I don’t feel comfortable playing right-handed anymore, I can still enjoy some time with Revenge when I’m home. That’s a good feeling! ❤

So, enjoy three videos I made this afternoon with my little brother’s tablet and witness the confusion. I actually still suck pretty bad at playing & singing, but doing it as a right-handed with songs I barely just learnt is harder. Ha ha!

 

Until next post, keep working hard towards your goals and don’t let frustration or life or people discourage you from making whatever you wish into a reality. ❤