Welp. Big Girl Pants Round 2- My Biggest Fear: Singing Competitions.
Sweet Mercy. Today is the North State Finals for the Texaco Country Showdown at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth, which is, mind you, the LARGEST honky tonk in the world…. I can’t help but laugh, it’s just so funny!
My life has taken a pretty big change when you go from playing First Baptist Church Lawn, Texas to the world’s biggest honky tonk AT 10:30 on a Friday night!!! Bahahah! But I know it’s exactly where I am supposed to be and wouldn’t change a thing.
The last 6 weeks have been a special kind of crazy and wonderful, and God is ever so faithful. A few months ago, I was kicking around the idea of entering a couple of country artist singing contests to try and get some more exposure, and of course, learn as much as I could about this new genre I’m in. I had pretty much made up my mind that I wouldn’t do it- because, you see, I HATE, and I mean LOATHE singing contests, and competitions. I can’t watch the auditions for American Idol and sometimes even the Voice because it makes me so nervous and uncomfortable. Contests, especially when it comes to subjective topics like art, music, and “talent” are just that- subjective to EACH person. Wonderful music, art, and songwriting existed long before there was a televised panel of judges telling us what to like and what to spurn. Many would say that art was much better back then- but this is the age we live in, and as an artist trying to break into a very tough industry, you simply have to face them and know they are a reality in your career today. But I don’t like them, remember?
I suppose my real dislike for competitions, audition opportunities, or contests is that you must subject yourself as a competitor, to an environment where you can be declared a “loser” OR, the ONE winner with such public finality. My little codependent heart skips a beat and I throw up a little in my mouth at the thought of that. I have always opted to fly under the radar in my career, terrified of being so labeled, so dismissed as an artist, and even as a person. Sure, the possibility exists in the universe that I could win, but let’s be honest. This lady prepares herself for the absolute WORST and lives accordingly. It’s a sad way to live, and good grief, if God Almighty hasn’t been working on me about it!
Alright, enter my sweet friend Jennifer Moran from Friendswood, Texas. Ya’ll- this sister has a kind of disposition and heart that can get ANYTHING done, and somehow makes you believe you can do the same. She has been a huge supporter of my music and one afternoon I got a text from her asking if I’d considered the Texaco Country Showdown, and that I should really go for it. I hemmed and hawed my way via text through explaining I thought I probably wouldn’t, that it was probably a waste of time… And then, JMo (as we call her) proceeded to “preach” to me via text, about stepping out, faith, not being afraid to fail, go out trying, believing God for big things… I had been totally called out for trying to continue to “hide” and fly under the radar, by a woman with faith that could move mountains. Suffice it to say, she (and God) won, and I entered the Texaco Country Showdown.
The day came for the local level of competition, and to be sure, I had to do a lot of work in my heart…. But that morning, I wrote this in my journal, and it has been a truth I have come back to many, many times since then- including TODAY.
When we got to the showcase, a miracle happened…. I’m not kidding. As the contest started and went on, I sat there with a giant smile on my face during every performance, GRINNING so big because there were so many great performers and I was just so honored to get to be a part of the contest, that it overflowed into my face and I couldnt’ stop it. (They probably thought I was high or something!) That’s right, I actually ENJOYED the contest- if that’s not the Lord working in my heart, I don’t know what is. I didn’t care about winning or losing, I was just so grateful to get to be there with the other artists!
Well low and behold, I won the local division and I am headed to the next round of competition- TODAY. The next round of this contest, the North State Finals will pull from all of North Texas and their local winners. There are a lot of perks to winning this thing if you can- you get to go to the Regional competition in October, you win $1000, and you’re one step closer to the chance to play the Ryman in Nashville, TN and compete for $100,000.
But- for me, today is simply about being courageous, because that is what I am learning to value most. Success can never be found by creating a life of protecting yourself from failure- that’s actually the best way to guarantee you don’t ever succeed at or win anything. I don’t want to be that kind of person that hides and only lives to reduce risk… That’s sad and really lame. No way to live.
Rather, success, in my book these days, is going after it with courage and a full heart, DARING GREATLY - and even if I fail, face plant in the mud, or win last place, I will do so while trying my tail off- and I believe that makes me a badass. :) That’s enough for me, and is something I can be proud of. No more flying under the radar, from shame and fear.
Lookout world. I just might be the greatest public disaster you’ve ever seen, but you’re gonna know who I am, and that I’m gonna die trying to chase these dreams God has put in my heart. So make some room- there’s a wild eyed Texas woman with big dreams on the loose.