What would Tom Waits do

I'm writing about my experience of feeling inferior because I have noticed how much it affects me and my passion for music.
While I can almost hear people say,  'Are you kidding, you're always so outgoing'.  Those with insight may have the perception that the reason I am so outgoing because a big fucking bolder of fear of failure sits atop me most of the time.
I'm just trying to bounce the fucker off.
I feel many of my fellow creatives may have experienced this too. While at home or with supportive friends I am able to blossom, it's the loneliness and overwhelming space of the stage that makes me want to crawl fetal, into my guitar case.
It's not just the stage though, it's in jams and when people say, Oh sing us a song' and sometimes my mind goes (_______________).
Especially when I am stressed.
Reading Sark, Patti Smith and/or Naomi Klein might pep me for a moment but it's hard to keep generating confidence from another persons experience.
I only have my own and I'd like to share them with you.

I've been asked to sing with a few old male friends, in a few weeks, who are pretty well known and I have the most terrible nagging feeling that I'm just not good enough.
The stupid thing is they asked me. They must think I'm up for the job, but I sit with my dark little fucker of a critic who just repeats on loud speaker every negative comment/review I have ever had.
Not the compliments or accolades, just the thick sludge with bits of sharded words.

So I would like to share with you what I used to do, the first few times I ever took the mic because today I'm trying to shake that nasty critic offa me.
I would say to myself, 'You've had a fucking baby, this is nothing compared to that' like a mantra.
It worked. Then after I lost the memory of that experience, I'd use another.
I'd say, 'You nursed your mum as she died, this is nothing compared to that'
It strengthened me again.
Then every new experience I use to help, then reminds me that there has been more to my life than just that one fearful moment before I perform.
I also have another mantra W.W.T.W.D - 'What would Tom Waits do'
This also helps me feel much more confident and sometimes I wonder if Tom has a mantra that says W.W.I.H.D-
'What would Ilona Harker do?'
Ya never know. :)

3 comments

  • Fiona

    Fiona

    Once again, beautifully written Ilona, all I can say is you're not alone ! All those out there that come across 100% confident are all swans just like you and I..seemingly confident and graceful on the surface but paddling like crazy underneath !! Don't knock it, It's what makes you as good as you are. If you weren't so critical of yourself then you wouldn't be as professional, polished and accomplished as you are and you wouldn't be in the demand that you are in now.. Embrace that thought and go with the flow but don't ever change..xxx

    Once again, beautifully written Ilona, all I can say is you're not alone ! All those out there that come across 100% confident are all swans just like you and I..seemingly confident and graceful on the surface but paddling like crazy underneath !! Don't knock it, It's what makes you as good as you are. If you weren't so critical of yourself then you wouldn't be as professional, polished and accomplished as you are and you wouldn't be in the demand that you are in now.. Embrace that thought and go with the flow but don't ever change..xxx

  • Jilly Fee

    Jilly Fee

    Ilona Harker I get you although I'm not a singer, actor or up on a stage of which would freak the living shit outa me. You my darling can do any-thing you desire, those feelings will come I know - but I also know you will do what you love and do what you love. You are awesome that's all I can say. Go girl xo

    Ilona Harker I get you although I'm not a singer, actor or up on a stage of which would freak the living shit outa me. You my darling can do any-thing you desire, those feelings will come I know - but I also know you will do what you love and do what you love. You are awesome that's all I can say. Go girl xo

  • Jilly Fee

    Jilly Fee

    Oops and love what you do see it happens to me to. Xo xo

    Oops and love what you do see it happens to me to.
    Xo xo

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