Another epiphany last night.

I always believed in playing and singing my heart to the one in the audience. And when there was none at low-occupancy/low-peak tourism seasons, I thought I was unlike my wonderfully extroverted husband, pianist, bassist and good friend. But last night made all the difference.

Of all our drunken visitors at the lounge, this one had stood out most dramatic and most heartwarming at once.

I recall one of our SingJazz Club performances as White Noise – a full-house scenario, and a lady, probably the boss’ friend, truly in a state of intoxication did a runway up to me while we were between songs, and offered me a drink. And in woozy state she asked me to drink up, and basically kampai with her. I said thank you and probably took a sip. She was real sweet, at least that was what i thought. Later a friend asked me if i needed them to step in… I was thinking step in to what? If anything I felt drawn to her, she was in her drunken state, more honest, and vulnerable than anyone there. That was just one of the encounters that i get at work, with my friends telling me to tell them off. To be honest, it’s party. People are supposed to relax at parties, and besides, there’s not much sanity in their levels of intoxication, so i tend to feel more empathy for them than intimidation or anger. One cannot be offended by non-consciousness, can you? Well, having said that, there are lines to draw. Boundaries as we call them.

If someone tried to get ideas, i’ll tell them to get a tree. The stage is my line.

And this guy didn’t know his boundaries in the beginning, not the ideas bit, but just the physical boundary between a stage and off-stage. The waiter tried to explain to him and hold him down, and somehow in his state he understood.

But he was so happy. He wanted to sing and wanted to hear those Mandarin tunes he was fond of. It usually takes a few moments for us to size up which part of our repertoire to pull out these days. From days, to hours, to minutes, to seconds, as this one was. Soon, Didi took over the piano and I was crooning all the Chinese i knew. And then i realised the contrast between my disposition and how everyone around me (by then, security guards, head of security) was worried and on the defence. Anytime he tried anything weird, they were gonna pounce on him.

But this whole time, he was like a child, smiling and singing with his very baritone voice, not requiring amplification at all… and clapping and dancing and I noticed, as I would be if he was a child, we were singing along together. He, just off the stage, and myself, on it, as i would, working my every phrase and note as i believed in. He came with two friends, and all three of them were so grateful, they clapped, and snapped (2, 4 – would you believe it?! haha) and then said they dug the singing and the music, and thanked us from bringing it over to their little city. Am I the only one feeling touched here?

If I were an empath, I might be the only one.

Either case, as I look back on what happened last night, I realised I had never felt more encouraged by what I do, the singing, the music, the understanding and the communicating through our stage.

I used to believe that i didn’t need an audience to perform, and perhaps so, but the difference in the meaning when you do have one, is Amazingly vast.

I take this away, and hope that my introverted counterparts would benefit from this post in your own little encounters.

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