This weekend's street performing at the Third Street Promenade was a frustrating but inspiring experience. That's a nice way of saying that I felt pretty shitty about it. I thought that I was ready to go to work, but I had the rude awakening of finding out that I'm a beginner again.
In Seattle you weren't allowed to use a portable sound system. Here it is the standard and if you don't have one, you are easily drowned out. I'm not talking about cheap units, these musicians bring out a serious rig, some of them use two car batteries to power their amps. I've never worked in this sort of environment. And they rack'em up every 40 feet, another street performer. I wasn't really prepared for the quantity or quality of the acts. A LOT OF FUCKING TALANT. Beautiful music coming out of their sound systems. Crystal clear vocals and guitars, cello and one guy playing some of chapman stick.
High energy break dancers and acrobatic troops line the hot streets in Santa Monica not only at the promenade but at the pier as well. All of them good at what they do, all of them well amplified.
The heat was another issue that I was worried about. For the last 4 years, performing in Seattle where it rarely got hotter that 85 degrees, made it easy. The unseasonably hot, heat wave here, has even the tannest of surfers saying, "Dude, is it hot out out here of what?"
Needless to say it didn't make things any better. So here I am trying to get a show off the ground, and I'm too fucking hot to muster the energy to really do what I need to do. I'm hot, sweaty and my cards feel someone wiped their ass with them. This was a new deck a day ago. In some parts of the Valley it got up to 116 degrees, breaking the record! It was cooler by the ocean in Santa Monica, but still hot. From Friday to Saturday to Sunday it just got hotter and my mood got worse.
I did have some good shows, but I really felt like I was working way to hard for the return on my investment of time and energy. I'm in the big league now and need to make some changes to adapt to my new surroundings and maximize the opportunity.
The best part of this weekend was coming home each day to Polly. I love her and our house and must say that the air conditioning unit works great. Fully functional girlfriend with moveable parts. Last night I discovered that if I pushed her belly button, and yanked her hair, I could make a ponytail. . . cool. . . huh?
Today started out with the goal of finding the charger to my piece of shit sound system and testing it to see if it still works. I did find the charger while continuing to unpack boxes and organize things in the garage. Polly and I had a delightful lunch of last nights left-overs. She was experimenting with a new chicken and vegetable stir-fry dish with fresh crushed ginger and garlic. Everyday is a gift and a celebration of love. . . unless your out there trying to street perform in the baking heat.