When I was 13, I became a counselor in training at my summer day camp. Every morning, my sister Barb and I would sit in a circle playing guitar and singing songs with the campers. Within a couple of weeks, the director had me teaching music and drama classes. I didn’t think of it as a career path though, I just thought I was having fun with the kids.
In college, I studied psychology and thought I’d eventually become a therapist. I loved my classes, the many activities available on campus and found myself drawn in particular to people who played music. I started writing songs and made regular trips to the used record store. Then I started showing up at dorm coffeehouses and asking to perform. My hands would shake so badly from nerves, I could hardly play, but by the time I was done and walking off the stage I would always think, “I want to do that again!” Little did I know, this meant I was screwed for life! LOL
A year or so after I graduated college, I spent a couple of months traveling through Europe with a backpack, guitar and a Eurorail Pass. I played music on the streets and in youth hostels and was amazed and moved by the people I met who had no investment in liking what I did, but kept me up to the wee hours playing song after song. It gave me the confidence to make my first demo tape when I got home (yep, a cassette with 4 songs on it). I started making trips to the post office to send out press kits and my journey of being a performing songwriter began. Now, 30+ years later, I still can’t help but do what I need to do to get on stage and play from time to time. See what I mean about being screwed for life?