I know we've all heard everyone say that "Everything happens for a reason" but here is some awesome proof. Not 24 hours after making my decision to stay in Nashville, I got a phone call from Jett Aaron who is the band leader at "Tootsie's Orchid Lounge" downtown. Sunday night ammiture night had an opening. His brother, Chris Aaron, the talent manager at State Street in Bowling Green (where I had played in the summer of 2008) had sent him my tape, told him I was in Nashville now and asked him to call me and give me a shot if they ever had an opening. I was thrilled! I had a two hours of time and an open set list, he said they would play anything I wanted to sing. As soon as I hung up, I burst into tears, probably because I was exhausted but also because I was overjoyed. I was going to sing in Nashville on a stage where Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney had both played, just a matter of months before! I mean, Roger Miller wrote "Dang Me" in Tootsie's and Willie Nelson was hired as a song writer in this bar....It was unreal.
Sunday night came and went much too quickly. It was oddly enough the night that Kanye West humiliated Taylor Swift at the MTV VMA's and the show was on in the background of the bar. I remember looking up during a break and seeing her on stage and thinking "Oh Taylor, help me out girl, don't let me puke my guts out during my first Nashville show..." Before I knew it, the show was over. The guys in the band told me that on your first night in Nashville you take home all the tips. But from then on, it's evenly split. When they asked me what I was going to do with my first Musician's paycheck...all $75 dollars of it... I laughed and told them that the drive costs were really catching up with me and that I had to use my money for groceries because I was out of milk...and lunch meat....and cereal and well, everything! To which Jett replied that that meant I had made my first mark, he said that you're only a true struggling artist if you spend your first paycheck on a guitar or groceries. I felt fulfilled :-)