The Joe Stamm Band was the first band I went to see as "Peoria Music Live."
I had still never been into a local bar/music venue by myself and decided that the Morton Pumpkin Festival would be a good way to ease into going to music venues alone.
I tried to do a Facebook Live video, but the mic didn't work on my phone that night. (I ended up getting a new one not too long after.) So I got a couple of pictures for the page and band that was definitely going on the "favorites" list for me.
When Joe responded to a Facebook message from me a few weeks later and added Peoria Music Live as a co-host to his acoustic show at 5th Quarter, I was over the moon. He had no idea who I was, but he was taking me seriously. Excited, I went to the show, took pictures and video, dropped a tip in the jar when he wasn't looking, and slipped out without talking to him.
That was pretty much my M.O. wherever I went for the first six weeks or so.
Every band. Every venue. I eventually worked up the nerve to get closer to the stage and to position myself for better pics and video, but I didn't ever talk to anyone.
I laid low because I didn't think I knew what I was doing. Who was I? Just a fan. I dated a gigging drummer for a good three weeks earlier this year... (five weeks total, but three good weeks, haha.) That wasn't enough to give me the all the inside knowledge I needed, was it? Plus, I figured that if I made a mistake it wouldn't matter so much if people didn't know who I was.
When I agreed to do the interview on I've Decided Radio the first week of November, I was still ridiculously nervous.
The night before, I was sitting at home listening to artist interviews on my laptop and messaging a friend. I told him, "I'm kind of afraid nobody is going to take me seriously."
Just as I hit send on that message, the artist being interviewed on the podcast said, "You have to believe in your ability to make things happen."
As someone who is always telling others to think positively and to "speak life," it was clear that I needed to take my own advice, and apparently, Joe Stamm's. (He was on the podcast I happened to be listening to at the time.)
My interview was recorded the next day, and even before it aired I decided I was ready to be more open about who I am.
Since I started introducing myself to artists and telling people about Peoria Music Live in person, there have been several awkward moments. Sometimes I just don't know what to say, or nerves have taken over and I've completely forgotten the name of every band member I was just introduced to.
One time, I posted "If you see me out, stop and say hello." Ryan Bradle from Highway J did... and I stood there dumbfounded for what felt like years, but was probably approximately 1.3 seconds. *Shrug* It happens.
I often have to remind myself how far I've come since I decided to rewire my mindset and stop being afraid.
The one thing that has been consistent across every band and artist I've spoken with is that they are appreciative of what I'm doing... and I came to realize they believed in my ability to make things happen... probably because I didn't tell them that I wasn't sure yet.
So why am I saying it now? Because I've decided I believe in my ability to make things happen.
I can't wait for you to see what those things are.
Here's a video of Joe Stamm singing Crow Creek that night at Fifth Quarter...