I am sitting here at Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, WI trying to make sense of what just happened…
I arrived at this amazing resort around 4:00 this afternoon local time and brought all my stuff into the exhibit hall. As I started to unpack, I spotted across the room the woman with whom I was to make the presentation this evening. Here’s how the conversation went when I walked over to introduce myself:
Me: Hello, I’m Heather Pierson.
She: (shakes my outstretched hand) Oh, it’s good to meet you finally! I’d sent out a search party looking for you! (laughs)
Me: (laughs too) Really? (laughs a little more) I didn’t realize I was being looked for.
She: (laugh disappears) Well, yeah…
Me: So, what’s happening tonight?
She: What do you mean?
Me: The presentation.
She: I already gave my presentation. It was this afternoon from 3:00 to 4:00.
Me: (feeling the bile churning in my stomach and an urge to destroy everything within reach) Oh my goodness you’re kidding…
Me: I got into town yesterday… I really wish you had called me… I gave you my cell phone number…
She: Yeah, I left it at home. [Keep in mind that she lives close by here in Wisconsin.]
Me: (still feeling murderous and stunned) Well, that’s too bad…
She: Well, I told the group about your song, so hopefully it’ll bring some folks over to your table.
Me: Yeah I hope so too.
Then she turned and started to talk to someone else.
What the hell?!?!
I walked back to my table and started unpacking and feeling the full impact of what just happened. As you all know, I drove a very long way to get here with the understanding that I was going to teach a roomful of music therapists my song “We All Have A Song”. Of course, yes, I have an exhibit table here and have a nice display of all my CDs, complete with a listening station and a credit card swiper. But nothing sells CDs better than a live performance – I was really counting on that opportunity to help sell my music to everyone.
Alas, it was not to be.
Those of you who know me best know that I hate to cry in front of people, especially people I don’t know. So, the urge to cry overwhelmed me while I was setting up and I had to leave the room. I walked out to my car and called my support team: Shawn, JD, Tina. They all said the same things: “Stay and make the best of it; you’re going to meet lots of really great people; I’m so sorry.”
2 hours later, I’ve made a friend named Sara (who’s also one of the people in charge). I told her my story and what happened, where I’m from, what I’m about. After listening to my music, she said, “I have a big mouth – I’m going to make sure everyone comes to see you this weekend!”
So yeah, a monkey wrench to be sure — but then, why am I really here? Not just here in Wisconsin, but here. I’m a musician. I’m here to meet people, share who I am, and connect with those who are pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down. And that renewed sense of purpose here has invigorated my evening already – the exhibit hall hasn’t even opened yet and I’ve already sold some CDs. 2 hours ago I wanted to leave and drive straight home. Now I’m psyched to see what the rest of the weekend will bring.