#327 when you don’t feel necessary…

By January 26, 2014 7 Comments

Tonight, i did not feel like being a musician. In fact I was in a funk all day because everything in me wanted to cancel the show, stay inside, watch a movie, and pretend that I spend my life doing other things. Early in the day I sat on my sister’s couch here in Philly responding to emails and looking out the window every few minutes to see if the snow had stopped. It hadn’t. It was actually getting thickier. And her street was getting whiter. I began to feel foolish about everything – about spending so much time booking shows, traveling hours to get to those show, and always holding my breath in the hopes that people will show up. It’s absolutely exhausting! Not to mention dragging in equipment, setting up, having to run sound (due to the fact that it was a non-nontraditional venue), and having to find someone to be in charge of collecting cover from attendees, because both my person A and person B got sick.  I sat on my coach sulking and feeling kinda sorry for myself: “I wish i had a manager. I wish had someone to do help with the driving. I wish i had this or that, or that or this”. It was a pretty rough afternoon, actually. When 5pm rolled around my sister asked if the show would be cancelled. Clearly she didn’t want to go as much as I didn’t. And i started to ask myself questions like “what do you do when you don’t want to be ‘on’? When you don’t want to try? When you don’t want to care?”

But then i got a little angry thinking, “Wait a second! It took alot of work to put this event together! And i drove 5 hours to Philly! There’s no way I’m cancelling this night…even if only 5 people come!”  I also remembered that my last cancelled show was back in 2012 also in Philly due to bad weather. And with that I showered, dressed, and was out the door with Peace. I’m not gonna say that i was in a better mood. Not the case. In fact, it might have been worse. The roads were ugly to drive on and I still didn’t have anyone to run the door. But i was resolved to do my job and make the night happen.

Setup and soundcheck took roughly an hour, we found someone to run the door, and then the weirdest thing happened – people started coming. And they kept coming. And by the by time we started we were full. And by the time we were 45 minutes in, we were packed! And none of us could believe it! After the show, a guy came up to me and told me it was the first time he laughed in a long time. I was really confused wondering what it was  that we said, but he told us it was actually because of how we played and that he hadn’t laughed genuinely in a long time. That made me feel good. It made me feel necessary.

I’m not going to say that everything was perfect by the end of the night. I was pretty consistent in feeling  like i wanted a cup of tea and an episode of Downton Abbey. But I knew the night was not wasted. I met 3 girls who came because their dance instructor uses my music in her class, two other girls who came because they saw my poster in a window, a handful of college girls who were once part of the church youth group I volunteer with in Pittsburgh,  and others who came for various reason included the other fine and much more talented performers Brittany Tranbaugh and Heather Lloyd.

So it wasn’t just a good night. It was a great one! :) One that reminded me that you are often more necessary than you think.  I was happy to have been part of it and I’m excite that we’re repeating the show tomorrow in Washington D.C.!


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  • themiddlevoice

    I came to the show last night have never heard of your music before and came away blown away and felt like it was an absolutely amazing night of music and it was totally worth it because it was.

  • Ben Rothermel

    It’s refreshing to hear someone else feels like this too sometimes. Keep on keeping on, Joy! :-)

  • Vince Edivan

    So glad you had a packed out house to play to last night. I think your story reflects God’s faithfulness in that even when we don’t feel like being faithful, He is always faithful. Hopefully you were encouraged by the people who came to see you. And I hope you are aware how much people love you and love what you do and how you make them feel. Every time we come to see you, I’m overwhelmed with the feeling that you are bigger than the room your in, (no, I did not just call you fat!

    • thank you Edivans! I love you guys and am so glad to know your family:)
      I can’t believe you just called me fat!!! :)