rax: (catgirl makeup)
[personal profile] rax
Every year Catgirl Goth Rave is a pretty big deal for me, and y'all who don't go probably get annoyed with me for posting about it, emailing about it, &c. so often. For me and for a lot of people who attend it's a chance to see a lot of friends in a type of environment I don't often get to spend time in, and to have friends share artistic/musical creations and, increasingly, traditions with each other. (I think everyone spends at least some time watching Kim's ridiculous video loop, which was first made for, like CGR 3?) But this year is especially a big deal for me, and I can tell because I'm alternating between bouncing hopelessly and kinda freaking out, and I want to share why to combination share myself/steel myself/understand through writing. Once I'm done with this post I'm going to go find something spicy and hearty to eat, then it will be SETUP MODE followed by PARTY MODE followed by SLEEP MODE.

This year I am DJing. I am learning to DJ for this party, and it will be the first time I've played music in front of other people in any significant way in like... fifteen years? Maybe only thirteen. "A long time." I had a pretty hardcore music education as a kid, getting steeped in music theory as well as reaching a pretty high proficiency level on a number of instruments (violin, piano, voice, tuba...) --- this is one of the tremendous gifts my parents gave me. Unfortunately it came along with one of their tremendous ungifts.

In many cases, my teacher was my father, in part because where are you going to find a better tuba teacher in Rhode Island, and in part because, well, lessons are expensive (although I know they spent a lot of money on piano, so it can't have been just that). My father is an incredibly skilled musician and did in fact instill much knowledge into me, he just also instilled fear, a sense of impossibility, and flashbacks to him looming over me as I tried to get a particular line right and screaming at me through the bathroom door about how I wasn't good enough while I cried on the floor. So practicing music, and playing in front of people, is... fraught. My brother's told me he'd probably be a professional musician if it weren't for this, and my sister is a professional musician and educator; I don't think I would have been, but I'd have a very, very different relationship to music, that I ironically only know to miss because of all of the good things he taught me. Fuckin' A, right?

I've tried to get over this a bunch of times, between occasional plucking away at a bass while listening to music and trying to start a band with friends and having all of one rehearsal and keeping a tuba in my cramped dorm room for years while basically never touching it and all manner of other things. None of them took; I couldn't do it. I actually bought the equipment and software that I'm going to use to DJ tonight in order to try getting over this with electronic composition, which hasn't worked for me yet, but has a little for my brother.  Two things are different this time:
  • I'm back in therapy dealing with other abuse, and weirdly (or maybe not-so-weirdly), that's helped me manage my feelings around this and take care of myself while also pushing myself.
  • I'm doing this for CATGIRL FUCKING GOTH RAVE --- I'm not doing this (just) for me, I am doing this as a gift to all of my friends.
Typically the gift I've given is finding a bunch of real DJs and getting them to entertain my friends, and running all of the logisitics, because that's the sort of thing I genuinely like doing. This year, for a host of reasons, there weren't enough people to make music, and for a while I was worried we wouldn't really have anyone at all. Luckily a couple of good friends are back to spin, and I'm filling in a slot --- at 10 PM tonight, I'm going to get in front of a bunch of people I care about, and share music with them, and after the party's over, I'm going to upload it, and share it with all of you, mistakes and all, and if you take the time to listen to it, I hope you enjoy it.

And if, after I'm done, I find myself on the floor crying, this time it won't be because I'm afraid. <3
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