Last night, I had my first show since the baby was born. I’ve been so sleep deprived lately that the whole night is a blur. But there are a few things I remember:
It was a full house.
We laughed a lot
There was popcorn.
And I’ve never felt more happy to be a part of my Rockford community.
I’ve heard so many crazy theories about “making it” as an artist. The most common goes like this: “Anybody can make it in their hometown; if you really want to test your chops, move to L.A., New York, Chicago, or Nashville and try to make it there.” But I heartily disagree with this flawed logic.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as being a ‘big fish in a small pond.’ Nobody has less of reason to come out and support you than the people of your hometown community. Why? Because they know your schtick. Because if they miss your show, they have endless opportunities to see you in the future. And because your larger-than-life stage persona is totally debunked when they bump into you at the grocery store.
So you can imagine how touched I was that so many people showed up to my show last night. That huge turn-out has absolutely nothing to do with me, and absolutely everything to do with the people in my community. Make no mistake: I live in a town of people—young and old—who listen intently, who laugh heartily, and who tip generously. They support the arts. They look out for their creative class. And they don’t lose respect for your talent just because you’re a townie.
I’m so proud to be a Rockford townie, today and always. Dear Reader, I hope you feel this way, wherever you live. (If you don’t, might I suggest a move to Rockford?) See you here next Sunday. -Em