‘People think that the hardest thing about performing in front of a crowd is the noise.’ Amos thought as he stood facing the audience, acoustic guitar in hand. ‘Keeping track of where you are in the music and filling each moment with something worth listening to. It’s not. The hardest thing about performing in front of an audience is the silence’. And they were silent. About 200 people in this crowded bar were still, listening, waiting for him to start playing.
Amos was 14 years old when he had started playing guitar. He had taken it up as an act of rebellion. At the time he had wanted to play
the drums, he liked the anarchy of it. He wanted to do something that would express what was inside of him. At school in classes, he was known as a shy child. He would sit quietly and do his schoolwork. He had friends, but he didn’t have a best friend. He had found most social interactions difficult and doing anything in front of an audience almost impossible. This is why he wanted to play drums. He had something primal within himself he wanted to unleash. Unfortunately, his parents couldn’t afford a drum set. They could afford a nylon string acoustic guitar.
He spent the next 10 years studying and practising the guitar on the side. Eventually, he found himself with a sensible degree in business studies and a 9 – 5 job. And he liked his work. He was surrounded by good people whom he got on reasonably well with. He had a girlfriend and everything seemed to be on a sensible track for him. He played his guitar for himself only although his girlfriend caught him on occasion and although Amos was embarrassed he would confess that he was flattered by her compliments.
As happens with many people Amos found himself in his late 20s and desperately bored. Everything in his life was fine. It was just fine. He’d played by the rules and was being rewarded for doing so. Everything was stable but something within him still yearned to express itself. It yearned for that chaos he kept bottled within himself since childhood. Inside of him, there was a small voice that dared to ask: ‘Is there something more?’
It was for this reason he downloaded the sense social app and found a band looking to get together. They were local to him and searching for a lead guitarist. He tentatively signed up for the audition and went along. His first time properly performing in front of anyone was at the audition. He was nervous at first his hands shook as he heldhelp the guitar. He worried his fingers would tremble too much to pluck. But as he started to play the room fell silent and all of his anxiety went away. He became one with the music and the other band members were blown away.
Later that day he got a phone call from the band’s producer. “we want you in our band, what do you say?” Amos was lost for words. This was something he’d never done before. He stumbled on his words. This was a new adventure. He felt like he was standing on the edge of a diving board and had to take the plunge. “Ok,” he said, voice trembling, “I’m in”.
Find out what happens next, in the second half of Amos’s Sense social adventure.