By Kat Goldman
When somebody asks you for your autograph for the first time, your initial response might be to chuckle. The first few times I was asked for my autograph, I giggled to myself for several minutes. How could I take them seriously?
In all fairness, though, I cannot deny that over the years I have made quite a lot of fans. For example, I know for a fact that I have one fan in Bulgaria. He emailed me to tell me he’d heard my songs in a television movie called “I Me Wed.” Who knew it would air in Bulgaria ?
I also happen to know I have three fans in Tel Aviv, two fans in California, about eight fans in Boston, a small group of four to five people in New York City, and about two hundred townsfolk who showed up to my gig in some medieval town in Eastern France many years ago.
If someone says to you “I’m a fan,” it usually means they are not going to kill you, and you should take it as a compliment.
Sometimes, the audience will clap loudly after you play your song. I always wondered-how long do you wait before you say- “Thank you” into the microphone?
Do you wait until after their applause has trickled down? Do you wait several seconds? Or do you say your thank you while they are still clapping? I still don’t know.
Sometimes when you finish your song, they will whistle, or holler, or yell something like “Whoo hooooo!” Do not be scared when this happens. Also, do not take it as a sign to start taking off your clothing.
Alternatively, there is always one person in the audience whose cell phone goes off during your performance. Do not let this distract you from the task at hand. Also, pay no attention to the guy you see in the front row who is yawning when you are in the middle of a poignant ballad. Just be glad no one has thrown any tomatoes, finish your set, and get off the stage, as quickly as you can, slipping out the back door.
The best and most wonderful thing that can happen is when someone from the audience comes up to you after a show, and tells you that your song made them cry. This then makes you cry, and then you find yourselves embracing one another, and weeping into each other’s shoulders.
It is your fans that make you know you have made the right choices in your songs. They are the ones who will make you feel less crazy for having the dream of making music. And, unlike the guy from the record label who never returns your emails, they are the ones who get you. As long as you have them, you are not on your own, as you travel on the often lost and lonely path as an independent singer-songwriter.