A co-worker has been ribbing me of late about the frequency with which I play open mics and gigs. He sees my old softcase by my desk and can’t resist. Why this is the source of jest is beyond me…but I take many things too seriously so a little ribbing is probably good for me. “Dude, you play more than the Dead” har har. I hadn’t really thought about it, how much I play, so this jest made me take a rough tally. For the past 5 years, at least, I’ve been averaging 3 open mics a week (not including full gigs) 52 weeks a year times 3…156 days out of 365? Almost half the year? Am I insane? Have I gone nuts? What is this compulsion? Why don’t I just settle into the drab life of an office drone mindlessly going to work, coming home and recovering from the work-day in front of the t.v. day after day blanking out any creative impulse which might serve as a painful reminder of a dream deferred? Well I guess that’s not how I roll (as it were) I never had dreams of ‘doing’ anything with my songs until recently. As an actor getting work is a lot of the work and is dependent largely upon other peoples judgement of you. I took to songwriting in earnest maybe 10 years ago partly in reaction to the soul-deadening audition process (New Jersey Rep is a golden exception). It was a kind of independence, creating something without rules without approval pending. Now, I know there are “rules” to standard songwriting but I’ve always been more interested in breaking rules than adhering to them…when I was a kid I had this notion of destruction as a creative act, knock down the blocks and what’s left is the mess we’ve MADE (chance has a lot to do with it obviously). I’ve always been party to the creation of songs from the age of… I dunno 3? under the tutelage of my older rebellious brother (rebellion best being sewn in young impressionable minds). Banging pots, pans, lids and jars in the kitchen with my brother and sister howling at full voice or murmuring incantations sotto voce (usually we had been told to quiet down which added to the joy of continuing quietly, righteous!) was a favorite pastime. So the answer to why do I play out so much is simple, I write a lot, I want to be a better performer, and I have an irrepressible desire to express myself. Simple.
Some of the open mic joints I play (or have played) which are still in operation and heartily recommend you all check out are: Indian Road Cafe (first Monday of the month, 8PM host Orville Davis), Sidewalk Cafe (every Monday 6:30PM sign-up host Ben Krieger), Nightingale Lounge (every Monday 7PM hostess Su Polo) An Beal Bocht (Tuesday at 9PM host Eric Sullivan), Buskers (Tuesday at 7PM host Niall Connolly), bar82 (Wednesday 6:30PM sign-up host Jason Trachtenberg), PATH Cafe (Thursday 6PM host Niall Connolly), BackFence (Sunday 6PM host Jon Vomit) Pete’s Candystore (Sunday 5PM Brooklyn host Bruce Martin)
Get out there and play! Get out there and listen! Frequently!!! -p


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