Bright lights and honky tonks

NASHVILLE.  I love this city so so so so so very much!   I literally walk around the streets with the biggest smile on my face.  It is the coolest, most wonderful city I've ever been to. Most people say New York is where dreams are made but to me, it's Nashville.  You can feel the love for music here, you can feel the dreams of every person on stage, you can feel the determination.  To me, there's nothing like it. I'm so happy that I made a stop here, even if I didn't have any gigs.  My first night here I met some really cool people from Wisconsin and I ended up hanging out with them the next night as well.  I told them about my music and Sunday night they went to the bands and paid them to let me on stage. Thankfully, the bands really liked me and kept asking me to come back up!  I LOVE being on stage here.  I mean, I love being on stage in general, but when I'm on stage here I can't even explain it - I just feel like it's home - cheesy I know haha but those are the only words that seemed to fit. 

I started to feel a little lonely when I was in Florida to be honest, but here, for some reason, I'm totally comfortable going to the bars alone, meeting different musicians and people.  It's wonderful.   The musicians here are incredibly talented too - like OFF the charts.  There's one guitar player who I just sit in front of and watch with a huge smile.  I'm totally a superfan and not afraid to admit it :)   I'm meeting some wonderfully talented people and they've been so welcoming to me.  We've been rocking out on stage.  

I also got to play at an open mic at the Bluebird Cafe! (yes it's a real place to those who watch the show Nashville).  It was so cool hearing the great response from the crowd to my original material.  People were coming up to me saying how much they enjoyed it.  Really felt good.  Something really cool also happened when I was walking out of the bar too!   I stepped out and all of a sudden this group of women started yelling my name!  They were like " We saw you at Honky Tonk Central!  You're fantastic!!"  Then they came and met me down on Broadway at Tootsies and got me up on stage there again.  How cool eh!  Been there for 2 days and people recognized me.  Such a cool feeling! 

I'm so sad that I"m leaving tomorrow!  I'm going to record a youtube video with someone and then I"m heading to a show at the Bluebird and then hitting the road again.  Going to take in as much music as I can tonight with some cool musicians I've met. 

I'll post some pictures and videos on my site and website soon - my wifi has just been terrible cause I'm staying in super cheap hotels.  Oh!  have i mentioned I'm now a pro at sleeping in my car?! cause I am.  I have a fool-proof system that I'm pretty proud of.  My mom has even started to accept the fact that it's part of my journey!  

Alright this novel of a post is long enough, I'll write again soon!

 

Update :)

So since my last update I have played a couple gigs and had some good and not-so-good experiences.  My gigs have been going great!  People really seem to enjoy my music and I'm playing more and more originals to test them out for crowds.  I'm so happy that they seem to like them!  I've been doing writing here at my favourite place - sitting on a comfy pool side bed, looking out at a beautiful golf course in the sun. May need to switch it up though, I'm still stuck in a verse-chorus rut where I can't seem to finish a song!  It gets frustrating but I'll figure something out!  Hopefully one day I just get a rush of writing and finish them all off.  Fingers crossed!  

In my down time, I like to find open mics to play at so that I get in front of as many people as I can.  Last night didn't work out for me too much though.  I'm staying in Parkland and there was an open mic in Hollywood which is about 45min away.  I got myself all ready to go, had my songs picked out and drove there.   Then I spent 20min driving in the same circle looking for the place while looking for parking at the same time.  I FINALLY found a parking spot and what I thought was the bar with the open mic.  There was literally nobody in the bar so I wasn't too impressed.  Then I double checked if it was the right place and realized that it wasn't, so I still had no clue where this place was.  So I went to the website to find a number to call and realized that the open mic was for comedians...Just. My. Luck.  So I got in the car and drove 45min home all for nothing.  I was frustrated and quite hungry so I was looking forward to just relaxing on the couch...one slight problem...I was locked out.  My friends had gone to dinner thinking they would be back before I was.  So I got to hang out in my car for over an hour waiting.  Good times.   

Other than that, things have been going well.  I get a little homesick every now and then which I expected would happen but I'm having a great time.  Feels like it's all going by so fast though!  I know i'm going to miss it when it's all over.  I'll just have to plan another trip in the fall!!

 

Down time in South Florida

After one rough night suffering from the shock of being alone, I was rescued by a good friend of mine who has let me stay at his place - and for a struggling musician, being able to save a ton of money on hotels is a life saver.  I'm so grateful to be staying at his beautiful home and I've made friends with his so I haven't had one lonely moment since.  

Unfortunately this week was slow as far as gigs go so I've been spending hours a day writing - some days productively and others I want to throw my guitar into the pool haha. But nonetheless, I've been writing!   Being in such a new and beautiful environment as south Florida has given me great inspiration.  The beach is one of my favourite places to write and I think it always will be.  There's something so calming about the ocean. I could sit and listen to the waves for days.  My first day here I spent a couple hours out at the Fort Lauderdale beach and came up with a song I quite enjoy.  I also spent some time teaching a little 4 year old girl how to play guitar!  She was THE cutest thing.  I told her I was a singer and she jumped at the chance to show off all the songs she knew and sang them for me. She also loved to strum on my guitar and even though it didn't sound great at all, she had the biggest smile on her face and was so proud of herself for making that music.  I gave her a guitar pic when she had to leave and she just thought it was the coolest thing on Earth.  She came by at the perfect moment too.  It was right when I was about to give up on this song cause it wasn't flowing as I wanted, but seeing her joy of just being able to sing along to her own melody and make music made me remember that even though I consider songwriting my work, I do it because I love it.  I just needed to remind myself that in those moments of frustration, I just need to reconnect myself with the real reason why I spend all these hours playing music - because I love it and it makes me happy.  Once I loosened up and stopped putting all that pressure on myself to finish the song, it just flowed out and I finished it in a matter of minutes.

This weekend I'll be playing at a bar in Boca Raton and I'm super excited.  Two of the girls I've been hanging out with will be coming which will be great.  Next week will be a busy one so please check back to see how everything goes!

Gig #1: Charlotte, NC

Last night I had such a great visit with my dad's cousin who I haven't seen since I was in grade 5. Thankfully, they were nice enough to let me stay the night (and feed me delicious food) in Stephen's City, VA to help me save some money.  It was so great to catch up!

This morning, I woke up to an ever so yummy breakfast and hit the road for Charlotte for my first gig of the tour!  This drive definitely was NOT the easiest thing in the world.  It rained and it rained harrrrd.  Those 18 wheelers sure are scary, I'll tell ya that much.  But I made it alive!   Thankfully, my dad's cousin hooked me up with a great hotel as well so I'm currently sitting on a giant bed in my room at the Hilton instead of a dirty room where I'm scared to go under the sheets to sleep haha.

I had a nice nap and then got myself ready to play.  The people at Queen City Q are SO friendly.  I had such a great time.  Not going to lie, I was kind of nervous to play in a new bar and new country for that matter.  But people really seemed to enjoy it and I can't wait to go back and play tomorrow!   The bar is super close to the football stadium AND the basketball/hockey arena.  I wish I was in town for the football game on Sunday!  Everyone was all decked out in their panthers gear and it was only Friday! 

Tomorrow I'm going to wander the city and see where I end up.  Definitely going to buy a Panthers shirt so I can fit in with everyone :)  My canadian accent and constant use of the word "eh" really makes me stick out! I'll post pictures of everything tomorrow!

I'm having such a wonderful time and I can't wait to keep travelling and playing!

 

Angela Marie

 

And so it begins...My First Tour!

What.  A.  Day.  The goal of the day was to get to Virginia to stay with family....did that happen?  Not so much haha.  I packed my car all up, everything organized and read to go.  I was all amped up and having a dance party in my car, hit the border just to find out that the highway I needed to take to get to Virginia and North Carolina was CLOSED!  There was no was I was crossing at this border.  It was completely shut down.  Cue first panic attack of the trip.  After talking with customs and sitting on the side of the road with a map spread open, my gps attempting to tell me how to avoid the main highway, my OnStar agent on the car phone alternating with with my mom on my cell phone to help calm me down, I came to the conclusion that I was just going to have to go back home to Ottawa.  SWEET.   So I reorganized my car and drove myself back home. Not impressed.  When I got home, I spent a good half hour or so searching the internet with my dad to try and find another way to get to where I needed to be in time.  Just as I found a route at a border further away, I happened to check the status of the i81 (closed hwy) and found out that it had reopened...15min after I arrived back home.  So, I got back in my car and started the drive BACK to the border.   Thank goodness I happen to be very good an entertaining myself.  I practiced my whistling skills, had many conversations with myself and of course, I danced and sang A LOT.

Finally, after 9 hours of driving, I made it to a destination only 5 hours away...Binghamton NY. Goodness gracious.  It was hectic but I made it across the border alive!  Tomorrow I'll make it to Virginia to visit my dad's cousin for the night and then Friday I will be playing my first gig in Charlotte, NC. 

I'm quite excited and nervous to see what happens these next 50 days!  If you're interested, I'll definitely be updating my website all the time!  I'll keep you posted! 
 
Angela Marie