Perfectionism. I was plagued by it as a kid. Philosophically speaking, I don’t even believe that it’s a real thing! But I used to think that getting as close to flawless at whatever — French horn solos, soccer games, final exams, piano auditions, karate tournaments, public speaking — was really, really, really important. To the point of paralysis. If I didn’t perform up to my own standards: imminent meltdown.
That perspective sucked the fun out of things; anxiety and self-criticism took over what I had first enjoyed.
Seriously. Nothing should be that serious.
It’s taken more than a couple years to loosen up. Drumming has been the first thing that I forced myself out in the open before I was “ready”. (I can still tap into the high standards thing; it’s a continuous process to set them aside). I love it so much that I decided I couldn’t wait fifteen years before creeping from the comfort of my own home to take a stage and perform with other humans.
My first step was to join a community of amazingly supportive drummers through MLDC (mikeslessons.com). Each of us on our own path with a myriad of talent levels and capabilities sharing this goal: keep improving and measure progress only against yourself. Second step was drum camp.
“Why are you taking vacation time, Sarah?” asks Sarah’s boss.
“To go to drum camp in California.”
Cue a boardroom full of hysterical laughter. Apparently drum camp isn’t something that you do as a 20-something-year-old…
During those 7 days I met a group of lifelong friends. A clutch of girls that grow in numbers every year. They are my go-to for all things drum, and more. We talk nearly everyday subjects ranging from: cajons, paradiddles, drum crushes, gig stories, to eyeliner recommendations for superior cat eyes. You name it.
They supported my BIGGEST move yet: starting a band with my best friend. Vanessa has always been an amazingly talented singer, guitarist, and composer. We had worked together on demo tapes back in the day, I was a studio engineer and co-producer, but nothing that we ever had the gall to release. Finally, both of us overcame the need for things to be so damn perfect. We made a pact to get out and start performing.
For your enjoyment (and my continued personal growth) I’m posting a video filled with raw moments of perfectly fine imperfections. ‘Going, Been’ recorded two weeks ago at ECHO Studios in Allston, MA. Unedited. Also used to enter the HIT LIKE A GIRL 2014 Competition. An international contest produced by DRUM! Tom Tom Magazine, TRX and sponsored by Vater, DW, Evans, Yamaha, Zildjian, Go Pro, SKB, Alfred Music Publishing.