A few months ago, a friend called asking to book me for the Bellevue Community Church Autumn Tea. BCC was one of the first churches we visited in Nashville. It's ginormous with a great music program, so of all the choices at their fingertips, I was honoured they'd ask me to sing.
The event was held this afternoon at Traveller's Rest Plantation and Museum. Sooo beautiful! The weather was stunning and the grounds and gardens are peaceful and gorgeous. We weren't in the historic house, but I think I read online that it's the oldest house open to the public in Tennessee. We were in an intimate building with high dormer ceilings and lots of windows.
And I have to start with this - the food was amazing! High tea complete with scones, jam and whipped cream (not clotted cream, but what're ya gonna do?), and the piece de resistance - a chocolate fountain! My word! I will take a chocolate fountain gig anytime!
Ladies in the church had each volunteered to decorate a table on a theme of their choosing, and the results were eclectic and beautiful. Everyone was very friendly, and our emcee, Anna, set a great tone for the event. (Anna was one of the first people we met in Nashville, so it was great to spend time with her today.)
I sang before the speaker, and I have to tell you, after all my Elijah training, the pressure was on today. I only had a 20 minute set, so I really wanted each minute to have an impact. I opened with "Neighbour", and that got a lot of smiles. Next, I did a short spoken segue into "Wedding at Cana". I rehearsed my segues and tried to be very purposeful with them. I drifted a bit from my script in small moments, but overall, I think my talking was much more focused than in my pre-Elijah days.
After "Wedding", I did my longest segue into "Abide With Me". I still kept the talking to only a minute, but I could tell it connected with people. I needed to come out of the deeply spiritual place of "Abide" to my fun ending of "Real Big Fan", so I tried a musical segue. As the "Abide" applause was dying down, I started with an acapella chorus of "How Great is Our God". BCC is a contemporary church, so I figured most people there would know it. People just listened the first time, so I sang it again, asking them to join me, and they did. It worked wonderfully! Singing as a group, even in a worshipful kind of way lifted the energy in the room, and prepared us all for a little fun. It also gave me a new kind of segue for "Real Big Fan". Instead of talking about Hollywood or my experiences with the film industry, I spoke about the greatness of God, and how important it is to focus our worship in the right place.
This was followed by guest speaker and BCC pastor's wife, Liz Perez. Liz spoke about making yourself new in Christ every day, and it was great. I think I even got a few new song ideas from it...
Overall, I couldn't be happier with the day. I sang really well, and the segues were good, and I got a great reaction from people. One of the BCC musicians not only complimented the music, but she also complimented my spoken parts as well! Yay! Several people visited the product table, and a few people asked about booking me at other events.
Can't complain about any of that!
ps - So far, I've booked 15 gigs for me and Gerald over the month of December. Whoo-hoo!