Synchronicity or Serendipity?

SynchronicityNoun: The simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.

SerendipityNoun: The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: “a fortunate stroke of serendipity”.

In addition to all the work around the upcoming PlanB tour of China in July, I’ve been working at developing my solo stuff and last Thursday I actually went out to perform in front of an audience. It was the SCALA Art cafe, at Higher Ground in Light Square, Adelaide, last Thursday. As it’s close to where I work, I walked down there after work and introduced myself to the bar staff, grabbed a meal and played Angry Birds for a while until the organisers arrived. One of the attendees, Gary (who had originally arranged my invitation), introduced me to “Adrian, the best lyricist in Adelaide”. I said hello and chatted briefly before excusing myself for a warmup backstage as the previous act worked through her set.

My time in the spotlight arrives, and I take the stage. I’ve got a post-it in my shirt pocket to remind me what to do once I get there – I usually get a kind of tunnel vision when on stage, and leap straight in to ‘get the job done’. I guess it’s a protection mechanism; if I’m not open to inputs, I’m not exposed. Cari Cole gave me some advice to be more vulnerable, to include the audience a bit more, and so now I’m a lot more nervous beforehand but I think I’m enjoying it more. I’m moving towards more of a shared experience than a task, and as a result I’m learning a lot more from each show.

I was well rehearsed.
I’d noted down some between song banter.
I know these songs:
– I’d played them flawlessly each night prior.
– I’d run through them back stage as part of my warm-up.
I take the stage.
I read the post-it that I’d pre-prepared and put in my top pocket:

Stand Tall, Imagine twice as many people in the crowd, Eye contact, Fix the damn music stand *before* you start!, smile, take 3 deep breaths

– Stand taller
– Imagine twice as many people
– Eye contact
– Fix the damn music stand before you start playing!
– Smile
– take 3 deep breaths

I play the first chord and launch into the song.
I screw it up about half way through. Dammit.

I keep going and manage half an hour of reasonable quality stuff. A few more oopsies, but also some really good moments.

And then it’s over. I had some good responses from the audience, which made me feel really good because it wasn’t seeded with friends and family. Apart from Gary, I didn’t know anyone there that night. I pack up my stuff from the stage and head down for a follow-up beer and end up chatting to Adrian.

“So you’re in PlanB?”, he asks.

It turns out he was a fan of the band in the 80’s and knew Peter Flierl. So the next time I was on Facebook I mentioned him to Peter and Peter responds with “Did you know he was a keyboard player? Did you ask him if he was interested in going to China?”.

And now, Adrian is considering whether to join us on the tour. Synchronicity or Serendipity?

I vote for serendipity.

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