In January of 2013, I stepped out onto a stage in front of a sold-out crowd. Cameras were flashing and people were cheering and lights were blinding me. My keytar was slung around my shoulder, and I waved sheepishly. I couldn’t believe it. I was there, playing at Heavy and Light (a concert tour put on by the organization To Write Love On Her Arms). And I wouldn’t have been there unless I took a huge chance.
A few weeks prior, I was on facebook wasting time as usual. The band The Rocket Summer posted something that caught my eye and I eagerly scanned the post. The front man of the Rocket Summer, Bryce Avary, announced that he would be going solo on the Heavy and Light tour. (Bryce is seriously one of the biggest musical inspirations to me. He is all sorts of crazy talented!) He then said that he didn’t want to be totally solo and was going to hold a contest for each city the tour stopped in. To enter the contest, you had to put a video of yourself playing the sax solo to his song “So Much Love” on any instrument you wished. (a winner was picked for each city!) The prize was free tickets to Heavy and Light AND the once in a lifetime chance to play on stage alongside of him.
Crazy! I had wanted to go to Heavy and Light for a long time. The closest date they had to where I live was about four hours away in another state. I knew the only way I could convince my parents to let me go is to win the contest.
(You see, going to Heavy and Light meant a lot to me. TWLOHA was an irreplaceable key in my road to recovery.)
So, on a whim, I recorded a video of myself playing the solo to “So Much Love” on my keytar and uploaded it to youtube. I honestly didn’t think I’d win, especially after I saw some of other entries. Weeks passed by and the contest slipped my mind. I had pretty much given up on the idea of winning and going to the concert.
Until, one day before the concert Bryce contacted me on facebook with the words, “Congratulations! You won!”
I was ecstatic. I started to scream and happy dance around my living room as I shouted in utter joy. I couldn’t believe it – i was going to Heavy and Light as a special guest! AND I got to play on stage! With Bryce Avary!
The experience itself was life changing, and working with Bryce really helped me decide to pursue music. I had an incredible night at Heavy and Light and I will never forget it or even be able to begin to express how thankful I am for the opportunity.
But the thing is, I would never have been able to if I hadn’t taken the plunge. I took the chance.