Time has been slipping away. For middle-aged folks, missing a week or two can be almost like dog years. We had not played live in front of audience since June. We have performances in September. But, in the meantime, the Nagging Little Voice started asking, “Are you going to be a deer in the head lights come September? After all, your range of talents is very narrow.”
Okay, Nagging Little Voice, do you have any suggestions? That silenced the Nagging Little Voice temporarily. I assumed that the silence meant it was working on some snarky comeback. Instead, the Nagging Little Voice came up with something helpful. “How about a barbecue, open house, and practice? Get back to the friendship, food, and fun times.”
The Nagging Little Voice, however, could not resist at least one little dig. “Quit taking yourselves too seriously. Have fun!”
Wow, Nagging Little Voice, that is great idea. Bribe them with food and they have to listen! And even if the Nagging Little Voice did not intend to provide sage advice, it did. We probably have been taking ourselves a bit too seriously lately.
Short notice invitations -- about one week. Nothing overwhelming. Just straight talk. “We need to get in front of folks and test out some new stuff in an open practice.” Provide a hook. “We’ll grill hamburgers and hot dogs.” Keep it informal. “Bring your own libations, and we’ll supply earplugs.” Becky, Sue, and Jean took over from there.
Suddenly, being at the Doghouse felt like old times. A roomful of people of all ages who came and went as they pleased. Conversation. Beer. Wine. Soft drinks. Barbecue going. Frivolity. And above all, fun!
The Pups played. We nailed some songs. We flubbed a few. When we did, we played again. After all, this was an open practice. When the battery on my wireless died, that was the sign to report for barbecuing duties. Before we could start up our second “set,” soap and water were needed to take the grease off my glasses.
“Okay, you got your food. Now, you have pay for it by listening to us play some more.” We joked. Our friends laughed. We played. Our friends applauded. We experimented. Our friends were forgiving. When we said, “That’s it.” Our friends asked for more. We played some more. Then more conversation, laughing, and communing.
Yes, the Little Nagging Voice was right. Sometimes, you just got to take it live! . . . And, when you do, make sure that you have fun. We did.