it’s been a long ass time since i been over to a “new friends” house. someone who’s a new friend that i met in my adult life and gone over to their house like i’m still in elementary school. there’s something about going to someone’s house that makes that friend more real or like you know them. denny said if you’re over at my house just chillin in my kitchen and you know you’re way around to find a spoon, then we’re tight.
tal & marky are my new friends from israel. tal invited some friends over for “finger food” before going to the study in hollywood where they have an open mic night. when i walked in, i wasn’t expecting two of my other good friends to be already sitting on the couch, which just made life even better. it dawned on me that i hadn’t been over to someone’s house in a while, it felt foreign to me, like an odd, rare event. it reminded me of how we’re too much in our phones and not actually IN eachothers lives. to be in someone’s house is to know them.
at some point, someone decides it’s time for a sing along...tal jumps on the drum kit that’s just in a corner of his living room. and marky gets on the keys and they just start playing songs. all of a sudden we’re all singing bohemian rhapsody at the top of our lungs, pretty sure we’re gonna get noise complaints. but we don’t care we’re just having that much fun. then we burst out laughing when we realize it’s only monday. my friends are singing in harmony. the sound of their voices blending together honestly makes me want to cry… i sing along and find harmonies too… and realize the sensation of finding my own voice amongst my peers elevates, lifts, raises me…i can’t believe how close i feel to these humans…some i’ve only met months ago.
it’s time to go to the study for the open mic night. none of us have been there. we walk in, it’s packed and there’s already like twelve musicians up on stage doing an open r&b jam. we just stepped into another world. blunts are burning everywhere in the room. people are vibing out. nothing is planned. it’s completely improvised. people are just getting up there to sing, rap, dance, whatever they feel like… their one rule is ‘no egos’.....everyone’s welcome no matter what level. the band is improvising…it’s a literal sound wave that you just gotta ride.
tal had told me before that he really wanted to get up and rap and asked me if i was gonna get up and sing. i said nah and that i was just gonna “observe” and see. it was packed in there. it was completely intimidating. still he really wanted to get up there, i could see it. his seize the moment attitude. i respect and admire it. something about the israelis makes me feel like i’ve known them since i was eight years old.
tal asked me to go up there with him...said he’d only go up there if i went up there with him... i was so reluctant. and i couldn’t get over my FEAR. i was holding myself back but i could feel the universe pulling me…… saying “go bitch”… take all those walls you got up around you right now and just let them all fall. and just go.
when the featured artist went up at 11pm, i thought it was gonna be a usual set… you know, one with songs, a setlist, a plan, a rehearsed show…nope. that too was all completely improvised. i turned back to my friends and told denny how HORRIFYING i thought the idea was. he agreed that it was terrifying. what we were witnessing was completely made up on the spot…and it was horrifying to think about.
still. i’m drawn in. watching the stage. every. single. moment. was something you’d never ever see again. a once in a lifetime performance. never to be heard again. all the musicians were in tune with each other, listening to each other, the singer was riding her wave, owning every movement. at one point she just starts full out interpretive dancing. seeing art unfold on the fly like that was one of the most beautiful things i’ve ever seen. my mind was exploding.
at one point, the host on stage says…. “i don’t care where you are right now or what you’re doing…. when i say, i want you to turn to your neighbor and give them a hug”....... she counted down and i turned to my neighbor and gave them a big hug like they were my best friend, and then i turned to another person and gave him a hug. and another person came up to me and just gave me a hug. i hugged THREE strangers. and that shit just made me feel so happy. vulnerable. open. free. like i was made of all love, no walls.
after the feature act tal says, “if they go back to the jam, we’re gonna go up”.....my usual ass self would say something like “oh maybe next week”..... but tal, (and every single person i know from Israel) lives like there’s no tomorrow. and i fucking love that. that shit inspires me.
the pressure was on and I was thinking to myself that i was ok with letting myself miss the opportunity, but i COULD NOT live with myself if my friend missed the opportunity because of me. i learned a LOT about myself in that moment. i was too scared to support MYSELF. but i was willing to go to war for my friend. an achillies heel i didn’t know was there.
we went back to the bar. got more drinks. somehow he CONVINCES me that we were gonna go up. i cheers his drink, our cups clinked together and i said ‘alright alright...im in”
in that moment i committed and all the walls fell down. like being locked in the rollercoaster. no turning back now. i said yes to the universe. and opened myself up to whatever the fuck i just agreed to…
we pushed through the crowd. waited by the side of the stage. what the fuck were we supposed to do? how do we prepare for it? you don’t. no one is controlling the flow of the night so if you want to get up there you just gotta get up and grab the mic and start fucking singing or rapping or whatever. we waited for a while…so nervous and scared.
then tal claimed his spot, stepped out on stage and i stepped right behind him as support. I had promised i’d sing some type of “chorus” - and he just got UP THERE AND STARTED RAPPING and he sounded AMAZING and I WAS SO HAPPY AND SO PROUD THAT HE DID IT. after his rap, i just started singing. the only words i remember coming out of my mouth were “i appreciate you” because that’s REALLY ALL I FELT IN THAT MOMENT.
next thing you know we’ve somehow convinced our other friend, denny, to get up there and SING TOO. he told me 20 minutes ago he flat out wasn’t gonna go, it’s not gonna happen, no no no. and NOW he’s up on the stage waiting to go…
now we’re all waiting by the stage AGAIN… the band somehow jamming along to “pass the courvoisier” and the room is getting harcore. dennys waiting his turn. i know he’s nervous. but i also know he’s a boss. and he has the balls to do anything. there’s someone playing horns right beside me. going off. suddenly i’m dancing with him like i don’t give a fuck. just vibing out.
then my boy denny grabs the mic and STARTS SINGING AND SHINING AND DOING HIS THING AND I WANT TO CRY IM SO HAPPY. because we were all just shitting our pants a second ago terrified… and we all somehow just lifted each other, elevated each other, supported each other to get the fuck up there and sing something. and i realized what real friendship is supposed to be. lifting each other.
actual magic happened last night. every second was a new lesson for me. the universe pulled me out of myself. whispered to me. take down those walls. don’t plan shit. get up there and go. and that’s what all of us did. and i never felt so happy and more loved in my life.
sometimes we are so CUT OFF from our own supply of love. then the universe serves you nights like these to remind you how loved and POWERFUL you are. that you can shine with NO plans. NO rehearsals. that you can hug three strangers and it won’t be weird. that if you jump. there’s a net at the bottom for you.
i’m so grateful i can look my friends in the eyeballs and tell them I LOVE THEM and it feels real and right.
the purpose if this post is to tell you what i’m still learning.
more love, less walls. say yes.