The Gig This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     The crowd buzzed with anticipation as my four band members and I confidently strode onto the stage to plug in our guitars. It was our first performance at this venue and I was amazed to see how many kids from our school had come to listen. I estimated there were 70 people, a number later put to shame when I was told there had been close to 100.

I have never been comfortable making speeches in front of a class, but for the first time I felt confident, a feeling that could only be created by my love for music and months of practice to ensure that this performance would be flawless.

When the lights finally dimmed, I quietly counted to four. Then came the opening riff. As I listened to the melodic notes I actually cracked a smile at how perfect it was, and the audience had no idea that in a few seconds I would be joining in on guitar and filling the air with unmistakable harmony.

As the show continued, the feeling in the air and awe of the crowd was unchanged. As I tore through a solo, my friends looked at me with respect, something that can only be achieved by surpassing expectations in a moment of great pressure.

Looking back on that night, I realize that I have never felt so alive, so fulfilled or content. Maybe I’m not going to be a rock star, but there are a few things I learned from that first show. I know now that impressing my friends wasn’t what made me happy, it was the fact that I was a part of something that made me feel complete. There is no need to take personal credit for feats like this because when the curtain falls, each member is just as crucial and important as every other.

A musical piece cannot be played without every component; when each part is played independently, the sound produces only a fragment, much like if someone were to summarize a novel in one sentence. So if my plan to play in a world-renowned band fails, I hope that I will be able to be a part of something ... to make something whole.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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