Friday, 24 January 2014

The Art Of Winning All The Time



My heart was beating really fast. I was waiting backstage. I didn't think I'd be feeling like this again. I'd performed in public many times. Why was I so nervous now?

The first act, JayO Poet was on stage giving his piece. The room was oohing, ahhing and clicking to some of his wordplay. He finished to a good round of applause and returned backstage. We shook hands and then both looked to the second act to go on, Chinaza (and Priscilla). They stepped up front. I would be up after them...

JayO Poet   
Chinaza (right), Priscilla (left)
This was the live music and poetry event, Vocals & Verses. I had entered their Open Mic competition. Whoever won this would go on to get a longer slot among other main acts in their next show. This was very important to me. Many months prior, I had fully embraced my calling as an artist and resolved to maximise every single opportunity that came my way to rise higher. This was a big opportunity I didn't want to squander at all!

So back to that moment...

The girls finished their piece and walked off. My heart was now in my mouth. If I had but coughed, it would come flying out. The host came up front and announced me. The crowd started clapping. Why did I feel like I had a headache? I started talking to God as I made the journey up front.

'Lord, help me smash this. Amen'

That's about all I could say before the mic stand was right in front of my mouth. I looked across the room, hoping to see my wife, sister and friend who had come to support me. If I could at least give them eye contact, I could relax.

All I saw was black and spotlights.

Ok, there's no turning back now...
Great.

Guess I'm just gonna have to pretend I see them and jump straight in...

My mouth started talking before my mind could catch up. As I babbled something about myself, my mind reminded me I could and would in fact smash this. I was also reminded to just believe everything I was about to say. I performed an a cappella piece entitled 'The Dream'.

This is how it went down...




Before I knew it, all 3 of us were on stage and the host was seeing who would get the most cheers from the crowd. I was still full of adrenaline and excitement. I felt my performance had gone quite well and my mind was telling me - You got this!

The host pointed to us one after the other. JayO Poet got the loudest cheers.

What!

I didn't win!

I wouldn't be back on stage for their next show!

They wouldn't get to experience me performing tracks off my new album, with my live band and backing singers.

:(

I didn't feel so great.

I begun to hear this voice whispering stuff like this into my ear...

You were rubbish mate.

No one liked you.

You can't complete in the major leagues. Don't do this again.

It's a sort of internal downward spiral when you get thoughts like that hitting you one after the other...

So, what happened next? Well, I went home and slept...then I woke up and was hit with the other side of the coin. I saw the lightbulb...


I had performed to a room of about 300 people who had never heard of me before! Let's backtrack...I had been in this competition to begin with! What had started with JenaƩ, my wife asking me to submit a video entry had resulted in my performing at Vocals & Verses. Being on that stage had been scary, yes...but it was more of a good scary. To put it better, it had been exhilarating! It was a reminder how far I had come from a season of hiding away my gift, to now putting it on full public display. It was a reminder to me not to give up working on this dream.

If you're reading this, and have an innate desire to get off the Status Quo Production Line in life and go do the awesomeness you were really created for, RESPOND TO IT. And when you take those first steps and things don't go entirely how you initially wanted...that's ok. It's all part of the journey, and those 'losses' aren't really losses at all if you turn them into learning opportunities and steps to continue climbing higher.

I had a dream to use my passion for words to positively impact the world. That's what I did that night. That's what I'm continuing to do now.

So, did I really loose in the end?

No.

I didn't.


Peace, Love & Spoken Word finger clicks!

Mr. K

P.S. - I do highly recommend checking out a Vocals & Verses event! It's really well organised, with amazing live acts and lots of fun! Check out their website here.


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