Luke Leverett – Brutally Honest

Here’s one of my Brutally Honest articles. If you like this, you’ll want to sign up so that you get one of these babies in your e-mail once a week!
I suck at games. All games. From poker to football, from Monopoly to Mario Kart, I suck. So I come from a place of absolute ineptitude. I playing little iPhone games and that sort of thing, but I’m not very good at them.
A couple of weeks ago, I was playing this pinball game on my phone, and boy was I frustrated. I couldn’t seem to get anything going! I couldn’t even get close to matching my own high scores. It’s silly, but it really bothered me. I got to where if I lost my first ball too soon, I’d start the game over. I didn’t think I could recover from that first loss, at least not enough to get in the top 10. I was watching the score, and if I wasn’t meeting my goal, I’d get pissed.
Then a funny thing happened. It occurred to me that I was spending the entire time watching my own score and no time at all just PLAYING the game. It’s supposed to be fun. I wasn’t letting fun happen whatsoever. It became all about how many points I was getting or not getting. I wasn’t even keeping my eye on the ball, which I understand is pretty much to first rule in any game that features a ball. So I tried to correct the problem. I followed the ball more. I relaxed. I let myself disconnect from the other stuff and focus on the action of hitting the digital ball with the digital paddles. I did significantly better, as you might guess.
How many times have you found yourself frustrated because you haven’t acheived what you wanted? There wasn’t enough people at the show, not enough money in the tip jar, too few plays on your myspace player. If you’re like me, you got discouraged very quickly. Maybe you’re focusing too hard on the score, or the clock. You feel that if you don’t hit enough home runs before the end of the 4th quarter, you’re a loser. (I realize that I was mixing sports. It was intended to be humorous). Maybe you’ve put a deadline on your music. “If I’m not making a decent living in 3 years, I’m hanging it up and going back to school,” you might say. Or, “I won’t make rent if I can’t book 3 more gigs for January.”
Obviously, it’s good and healthy to want to set goals for ourselves. I’m not saying that we have to do away with the scoreboard or the clock altogether, but I do think that we need to set those things aside while we’re working. When you’re writing, write. Don’t try to figure out whether or not you can sell a thousand downloads of the song. When you’re performing, perform. Don’t keep looking at your watch, don’t think about how many more people you deserve to have at your show. Leave that part of the analysis for when you get home. Set aside time to figure out how to make a little more money, and set reasonable deadlines for your many lofty goals. Most importantly, get your head in the game. Love it. Relish the feeling. Love your audience. Enjoy each lyric. Listen to your bandmates, respond to the groove. Smile, damn it. It’s fun.
A great Austin bass player once chided me for complaining about a gig. He said, “It’s an honor and a privilege to play.” He was right.
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  • LUKE LEVERETT

    photo of  Luke Leverett
    New Braunfels, Texas Phone: 830-708-5883
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