the pursuit


By | just do it, little epiphanies, music, performance, the pursuit | 4 Comments


Over the years Ive had a weird and unhealthy relationship with performing. I always felt like i never chose this life. It chose me. And because I ‘didnt have a choice’ I felt unqualified to make music b/c I hadnt been trained traditionally. My biggest fear was (and is) playing in front of other musicians b/c it was the one place people would listen to me with critical ears and I would ultimately be exposed for being an imposter – someone who has no idea whether shes playing a Gsus or G7 or Gwhatever. Someone who is faking it until she makes it.

Its a weird feeling thinking of all the doors that have opened up over the past year – wondering how it happened and worrying whether or not I will mess it up. These days I have learned to ask myself a very important question when I get off stage after a bad set: “What do I think happened and what actually happened?“ Reality and perception are two very different things, and often we confuse them and make them the same. This question has really helped to steer me away from those moments when all I wanna do is rip myself apart and say “YOU SUCK! You shouldnt be here. They only clapped b/c thats what theyre supposed to do“. If there is one thing I know now, its that musicians make mistakes…all the time. They just get better at hiding them :) If there is anything else I know, its that the more you practice, the better you get. These are two facts that I wish the 21-year old version of me knew 11 years ago, although to be honest, Im not sure it would have saved me from any of my episodes of self-deprecation.

Ive also begun to tell myself one other thing (this time before I get on stage): “this show is not about you. you are simply the messenger delivering the message. Someone needs to be encouraged. Someone else needs to access a buried emotion. Someone else just really needs to have a good time tonight. Help them do that with your music.“ Reminding myself of this keeps me from wallowing in self pity, constantly apologizing on stage for my imperfections, and making awkward comments to distract people from the fact that I’m very uncomfortable. Over the years, I’ve frozen up on stage out of the fear that I wouldn’t perform flawlessly (ironic), I’ve kept to myself b/c I felt I wasn’t good enough to associate with certain people of a higher musical caliber, I’ve made one apology after another after another.

So you played a song and you hit a wrong note…or two…or three. It’s ok. Now they all know you’re human.  When it comes down to it, music makes people happy, it enriches their lives. And it’s your gift to give to the world. Don’t hoard it. Everybody already knows you’re not perfect, but it finally becomes fun when you accept it.

#290 Flashback

By | performance, purpose, the pursuit | No Comments

Time really seems to be flying…like really fast! Tonight I spent a good portion of my evening sifting through YouTube, deleting some old videos and unlisting ones that had formerly been public. I’m cleaning up my YouTube for something big that’s coming this week! Check back here for that announcement on Wednesday. It’s pretty BIG!

As i was sifting through videos, I found ones that were extremely outdated and highly bootleg-looking. But they are still very dear to me because they remind me of how this all started. And the thing is that, even though time is flying, some of these videos aren’t really all that old in the grand scheme of things. Some of them are from 2010. Some are even 2012. But it’s amazing to me how much can happen in 1 year…or 3. And it’s also amazing to me how quickly video quality changes…or the standard of what’s deemed professional and unprofessional as far as presentation goes.

Anyhow, here are some oldies but goodies. Fun things, random footage, and alot of bad hairstyles!

This one’s the Lilith Fair feature by Ourstage. This video feels so old…including my mushroomtop head thing! :)

Myself, JD Eicher, and Kurt Scobie trying to figure out how to collectively promote our tour even though Kurt lived over 600 miles away! I get a kick out of this one every time :)

My first time introducing my new instrument. Why was I rambling? Also, I played so terribly!

First music video…and still my favorite

This was probably one of my favorite tours of all time. Maybe top 5. The highlight was certainly the now defunct Music Festival, Purple Door.

My friend Ranika decided to do an “After-show” interview with attendees at the 2010 album release party. This was a great day :)

#245 Don’t You Believe Those Lies…

By | little epiphanies, music, Songs & Lyrics, the pursuit | No Comments

Keep a healthy distance
But now he quits for less
Why such warm resistance?
We’ve yet begun to begin

Grey is the danger
Keeps you from all you are
Why do you leave your maker
To wander and wander so far?

It’s a difficult path
It’s a narrow way,
Oh oh oh oh
You shift you will shape

I I I I know
I I I I I caught a glimps of the other side

I’m your biggest fan
Don’t you believe those lies
The heart’s a tender thing
Keep it soft and ripe on its fire

It’s a difficult path
It’s a narrow way,
Oh oh oh oh
You shift you will shape

I I I I know
I I I I I caught a glimps of the other side
Where good and evil do collide
It’s time you know, you know the truth

#230 Stickin’ With It

By | little epiphanies, purpose, the pursuit, Uncategorized | One Comment

Today, parked at 61C Cafe, I ran into a friend that I often see also parked at 61C. I see this guy pretty often – whether it be the library, at Commonplace Coffeehouse up the road, or in Crazy Mocha down the road. He sits at his computer and types away daily. I’ve seen him doing this for years. He’s a writer.

Today as he entered 61C I greeted him and asked how he was doing and he responded, “Oh y’know. Stickin’ with it.

To me, this is one of the best responses I’ve ever gotten to the world’s most boring questions. That response has been lingering with me all day.

Some days I find that I am looking for excitement.  The next most exciting show. A day that trumps all other days. A tour that surpasses all other tours. An exciting email that explodes my laptop into a million pieces as I too type away on these keys all day sending booking emails, promoting shows, creating Facebook status updates that get others excited about shows. The list goes on and on and on…

Other days I curl up in my bed for an extra hour and say, “I don’t wanna do this anymore. What the hell am I doing with my life?! Why is this so hard? And why do I even care? Do I care? Do I even really care anymore?

“Stickin’ with it” is the hardest thing I have ever done. And as I wrestle daily with not knowing why I’m sticking with it, I am encouraged by so many people who are also “stickin’ with it”. After reading Jeff Goins’ post this morning: The First Step to Making a Difference: Get Out of Bed and listening to this awesome TEDTalk Lecture by Amy Cuddy last night, I feel like I can keep “sticking with it.”

Sticking with it SUCKS! But it’s also the BEST thing that has ever happened to me!


#167 Fueling The Fire

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No matter how I try, I cant seem to express how I feel about tonight’s Brooke Waggoner/Jars of Clay show. Words just can’t do justice, but here goes…



I went through a long period of time without going to see live music. Given the fact that I’m always performing, going to live shows isn’t really top  priority on my list of things to do. But I’m realizing that getting to see other well-seasoned artists in their element, doing what they love to do (and doing it with excellence), has really fueled the fire for me this year. It makes me want to be better. It makes me want to live each day more purposefully. It makes me want to set a goal and do nothing except work towards that goal.

I admit that sometimes things can get to be “business-as-usual”. Albums get old (All or Nothing is already old news to alot of people), and the day-to-day can easily lose its charm. But that doesn’t mean it becomes less important. It just means you have to remember what it was that you first fell in love with. “What was it about your passion that first made you fall in love with it? Ok, now take that and do something with it.” That’s what I’m telling myself tonight.

I’m just challenged to be better. I don’t really know where to start. But I’m gonna try.