i am still a bit dazed from this past weekend. i feel like i am supposed to write something about my experience and share that with everyone, but i can hardly manage to put the words together, even in my own head, so i have some doubts as to how coherent this entry will be. i will try...
uhhhhhh (feeling braindead)
basically, there are two key themes going through my head at the moment.
one is absolute shock at the fact that i was given the opportunity to play in front of 75,000 people (thought it was 95,000, but that's only for sports events) and millions of others on TVs and computers around the world. the other is a deep sadness and disappointment regarding the way this event was handled by the press.
so - first my experience as a performer: i took the tube to wembley stadium. when i arrived, the walkway to the stadium was crowded with people looking for tickets, arriving for the show, milling about....it felt like a festival. it was a beautiful day - sunny, blue sky, warm. upon walking into the backstage entrance, i was immediately overwhelmed. the sound coming from the stadium was huge - people cheering and clapping - i think it occurred to me at that moment that i was about to play in front of all those people. i spent the next few hours in my dressing room, trying not to pass out. :) i was nervous, excited, anxious, and also extremely emotional about the day in general - not just my performance. i had such high hopes for this day, and i wanted to believe that it would be effective. the enormity of the event was more overwhelming than thinking about my performance, actually. when i thought about what this day could mean for the world, i immediately started to cry, so i decided to put aside all thoughts of the meaning of this day until after my performance.
it was not until i stood on stage watching corinne bailey ray's performance that i started to calm down. i don't know what happened, but i suddenly lost all fear and was filled with a sense of peace. i looked out from behind the curtain and the stadium suddenly appeared much smaller. less intimidating. by the time i walked out onto the stage to play my song, i felt completely safe and calm and happy. i looked out into the crowd and felt completely at ease.
it was the most incredible performance experience of my entire life.
the second theme in my head is less positive. i am so disappointed by the press coverage and the commentators for the show. this was an opportunity to get people motivated to make positive changes for the environment. i don't care what you believe - whether you think global warming is just a naturally occurring event which we cannot control, whether you think that the performers involved had self-serving motives, whether you think that global warming is a hoax - whatever - even if that is your belief, it still makes sense to encourage people to consume less, recycle, take better care of the earth, use fewer resources - if only to make life more pleasant while we're here. however long (or not long) humans exist on this planet. if only for the fact that mindful people are more pleasant to be around.
but, as i've always known, many people are more concerned with being perceived as cool, irreverent, witty - i guess that's the image they have cultivated throughout their careers - and, as we already know, negative press makes much better headlines. so rather than take this opportunity to help motivate the public, some people decided to be cynical and cool. as humans, we are influenced so strongly by the opinions of other people. if someone presenting the show appears excited and enthusiastic, we are more likely to agree with that. and of course it works in the opposite way as well. some people in potentially influential positions chose to make negative, cynical comments. that is disappointing.
i don't know what the press coverage was like at the other concerts. i hope it was more appropriate for the event.
and now what do we do? will people make changes in their lives? has live earth opened any eyes? i was scared before the concert. for the past few months (long before i was invited to play) i have looked at live earth as a turning point. i've seen it as the last attempt to change public awareness - if this didn't get people's attention then i don't know what will.
so there you have it - a tiny part of my experience this past weekend. there is much more that i won't write about at this time. that's enough for today, i think.
oh - and my mom, dad, brothers, aunt and uncle and many friends were there. one of the most wonderful parts of this experience was that my family was able to be here with me. that was huge. i can't imagine what it was like for them, and i feel so grateful to have been able to give that experience to them. they have been through so much with me - good and bad - and this weekend was certainly a high point.
that's all for now.....