“You’re not fooling anybody.”
That’s what my friend Thad always says when he sees musicians pretend they don’t care on stage.
You’ve seen the type. They stand up there with a guitar and a face that says, “I don’t even care if you like this song. Whatever. This is stupid. I’ll play it. Whatever.”
And they act like they don’t know how they got there. As if perhaps they were just walking down the street, saw an open stage with a guitar, and picked it up. It doesn’t matter to them. Whatever.
Thad doesn’t buy it. He knows how much they care about that moment. They worked hard to get booked at that venue. They practiced long hours in their bedroom, dreaming up songs and notes. They built elaborate sets in their mind, and shot the movie version of that moment a thousand times.
But fear tells you, if you care too much, you’ll get hurt.
The path to dreaming is littered with apathy shields. Fear will constantly try to hand you one. “Here, this will keep you safe. This will prevent you from being hurt.”
What fear doesn’t tell you is that apathy does form a wall between you and hurt, but that same wall blocks you from joy too. It cuts you off from awesomeness and happiness and the thrill of seeing a tiny piece of your dream come true.
Don’t listen to fear. Apathy is a foe, not a friend, a numbing agent that does not distinguish between joy and pain. Beware the temptation to use it as a shield. It will block you from hope too, not just hurt.
Be excited on stage. Jump on stage. Have fun on stage. That’s Awesome.