My two cents.
Almost finished with this year. This has probably been the most intense of my life (cue old people chatter). I have been physically and emotionally exhausted and seriously gone to “the darkside”, and also experienced some of the most heartwarming uplifting beautiful moments. We have an amazing fan base of incredibly supportive, generous people, some of whom follow us around the country and see us play dozens of times. It is truly what I have always wanted to do, and even when it’s incredibly difficult, I wouldn’t do anything else. Clearly, if you’ve looked at my resumé, I’m not cut out for much else…..
But back to those dark times. It has come to my attention (through the magic of @fuckyou @haveyouseenthisbadshitaboutyourself that is Twitter) how awful and mean spirited people can be this year. I mean, I’ve always known it, but I grew up in a time where if something happened to you or you made a mistake, it was your mistake to go through and you talked about it with your dad or your priest or wrote about it in your journal, and you dealt with the gut crushing guilt that is self-awareness. In the past few years all that has changed, and we live in a world where people who didn’t even experience your perceived fuck ups can chime in on it and make you feel utterly terrible about yourself. I am more than willing to admit when I’ve made a mistake. It comes from the intense deep darkness that is the mind of an Italian Irish person. Seriously the guilt of this genetic mix is downright goddamned awful.
I’m writing this about some dumb review I can’t seem to escape of my Lincoln Hall show this week. i try never to read those and am quite successful, but when people shove something horrible about you in your face as if that’s something you’d want to know about, it’s hard to avoid. I would say that MOST people in life will never have reviews of their life decisions under the guise of some kind of honest critique. Most people do not have to get on the internet in an attempt to keep in touch with friends and fans and read something completely mean spirited about themselves. You may get a work review but it will not be on a daily basis and it will not be soul crushing (unless of course you absolutely suck at the office). And when these “work reviews” tear into your personal life, from someone who doesn’t even know you, it can be difficult to deal with.
In the past year I have been gone from anything familiar or comforting. As someone whose mental health is quite unstable, it’s been difficult. I started out the year in a very terrible place, and I looked at my calendar and saw that I was going to put myself through absolute hell at a time when I really wanted to lie in bed and have naked Bruce Willis bring me chicken soup for six months. So, I started going to therapy. This is absolutely against everything I’ve ever thought, but when I started taking it seriously, I realized that it was an incredibly helpful thing for someone like me. To have to show up and be honest about yourself and your myriad slip ups in life, and discuss why you are the monumental fuck up that you are, has kept me as sane as someone like me can be. Combined with daily yoga, I am now in a better place mentally than I have been in years. I can now be subjected to days and days of people telling me I am a huge drunken fuck up mess who plays terrible shows (when I feel that the shows in question were actually fantastic–like I said, I know when that shit is bad) without ending up in tears and wanting to literally kill myself. I know that right now I sound like some highschooler bawling about how MEAN everyone is to me, but, like I said, when you are already a suicidal person riddled with anxiety and neuroses and you get shipped all around the world to be critiqued, it can be quite depressing.
I pride myself on putting on shows that are loose and free and unrehearsed. That is why my band and I practice and work incredibly hard at what we do. We know the songs through and through so we don’t HAVE to put on the act of being a broadway play or the vagina monologues. We bust our asses so that you don’t have to witness the same show from city to city. This is why we can get onstage whether we are sick, have broken ribs, or have just experienced family tragedies. We are a rock band. We come to fucking bring the rock. If you are scared or “made uncomfortable” by that, you should stay home.
I was told by an acting teacher as a kid to never, ever apologize to anyone. To never show weakness. When you come to an audition and you have bronchitis, AIDS and flesh eating disease, you act like you don’t even fucking realize you have anything wrong with you. That’s hard to reconcile with the depressed addicts mantra of “don’t be afraid to ask for help”. I try to combine the two in my work. If you come to my show, expect me to mention every awkward thing I am feeling and play like I couldn’t give less of a fuck about what’s bothering me. I live by the “we are all friends here” method and I will never stop doing that. I appreciate every single person that supports me and comes to my shows, and I don’t ever half ass my job. I have in the past, and I won’t do it again.
This was long winded, but it’s been a long fucking year and I haven’t written on here in quite some time. I want to thank each and every one of you that has supported me this year, and to those of you who will continue to support me and not barrage me with tweets about what an asshat I am, I love you. I’ll see you soon.