And perhaps I was angry.
Not at myself or any of my fans/supporters. On the contrary, I couldn't be more grateful for the support that I was given throughout the campaign. But I think I was just angry with God.
It's not that God owes me anything. I know that's not the case. And God has provided for all my needs these past four years, so I can't complain about that. I guess I just thought that by now, I'd have gotten much farther than I have. More people would know who I am and be interested in my music and activism; I might actually be making a bit of money here and there for the music that I've made available for download on the internet; I'd have more fans and followers on social networks; attempts to raise a few thousand bucks for an important project wouldn't fall so short; and perhaps I'd have reached a tipping point. I've just worked so hard, and I guess I expected that God would have met me halfway by now.
Plus I was irritable after 15 hours of bus rides into the mountains of North Carolina. But perhaps most upsetting of all, I was again attending Wild Goose as a volunteer rather than a contributor (scheduled music act).
I've been loyal to the Goose since it's birth in 2011, slugging around heavy bags of garbage, recycling, and compost with the Leave No Trace waste management team. I don't mind this work; on the contrary, I relish the opportunity to help minimize the goose's ecological footprint. But despite my loyal service these past few years, I've been snubbed, denied a place on the schedule, even after submitting my debut full length release Heliotropism last year. The rejection wouldn't even be so bad if I'd ever just been formally rejected! I always just wait until a month before the festival before I just assume that there's not enough room or I'm not what they're looking for or some other platitude. They can't at least let me know one way or the other?
So yea, I was a bit angry. But I wouldn't let that spoil my time at the goose. I would continue to serve my friends at the event and I would hustle my music regardless, playing to whomever would listen.
Immediately after signing up for my time on the open stage, I began writing up fliers. Using the blank sides of paper fliers that I had printed for the #singupward campaign, I simply wrote OPEN MIC, FRIDAY 8P. And I spent Thursday night and Saturday giving fliers to every person I came across - old friends, neighboring campers, anyone who asked about the mandolin perpetually strapped about my neck. I took a photo of one of the fliers and posted it on instagram with Wild Goose hashtags; I posted tweets on twitter and facebook; and as my time approached, I nervously waited to see how many would actually come to enjoy my music.
I promised them I would start a petition to Let GioSafari Play next year, but they must not have believed me. They all smiled and laughed as they signed my petition the very next day, happy that they might help me get onto the schedule for next year. Fifty signatures in all. Several new fans even bought CDs.
There's probably much work left for me before I reach my tipping point. I've again come to terms with that and I will keep at it with great diligence and love; but I'm also again convinced that God (and so many new friends and fans) will be walking alongside me all the way.