By Belinda Huang
This past weekend, I had an amazing opportunity to play at Longfellow House, a historical site in Boston, through Berklee’s Summer in the City program. Being that I had never stayed in Boston for a summer yet, nor had I played a show in the city before, I was both nervous and excited.
When my band and I arrived at the venue, people started filing in. As the minutes ticked closer to the 3pm show time, the majority of the chairs had been filled up with Longfellow House’s patrons! My excitement grew as I anticipated being able to share my music and my story with so many new faces. To my surprise, my growing excitement far outweighed any nervous energy I had been feeling before. Instead of focusing on whether people would like the music or whether we would make a mistake or whether we were prepared enough, I focused on enjoying the moment. Fear always aims to intimidate and cripple, but I was able to stop it from entering my system by focusing my thoughts on the amazing opportunity at hand to share my music on such a beautiful day with so many people.
As the show started, I began playing guitar and singing, and it was unnaturally natural that I felt so comfortable on stage. It had been over two years since I had played a live show of all original songs, so I had forgotten the feeling of being vulnerable in front of others in such a way. But this time around, it felt like I was unquestionably in the right place. The hour set of ten songs quickly passed by, and besides a few hiccups and speed-ups here and there, the set went by smoothly. I was relieved when people in the audience laughed through my jokes as I spoke in between songs. The whole experience was enjoyable and fun.
As we concluded the set, I invited the audience to come talk to me after the show—this turned out to be my favorite part of the experience. I was approached by many people who told me that my songs were beautiful and inspiring and that the lyrics carried messages of hope. One lady told me that she had been struggling with depression for 70 years and that the story and song I shared about overcoming depression touched her. I was able to encourage her and pray for her, and it was amazing to see that my music was already making an impact. This shifted my mindset drastically. I was reminded that there is a greater purpose behind the music. It isn’t just about playing it perfectly. It’s about the message and the influence that is released over people when we play.
Playing the show through Berklee’s Summer in the City series was an inspiring experience for both me and those I got to share my music with. I am very much looking forward to more opportunities to play shows and all that the future holds in store for my music!
Belinda Huang is a Taiwanese-American singer/songwriter, music producer, and audio engineer from Los Angeles. Her vision is to create and release a fresh and authentic sound that brings about healing, personal freedom and hope through its messages of life and truth. She is currently studying at Berklee College of Music, majoring in Music Production & Engineering.