“You Might Be Interested In This”

“Facing your fears about success or failure has become a pressing concern lately. Only your self-doubt is standing in the way.” AQUARIUS, week of February 17

There was a moment a few days ago – a perfect moment. I’d picked up some art supplies at Spotty Dog and helped out a co-worker who was struggling with no internet and a bar full of customers. I’d gotten a rare hug from Earl, a local painter, and found a piece of cardboard in the garage for a desperate artist trying to frame something. I felt almost saintly. I told a favorite shopkeeper about my album and how long it had taken and how hard we’d worked (I have to keep mentioning how much time and effort Eric put into this record) and how excited I was, no matter what happened. She congratulated me on the creative success of getting new work together and just about launched into the world and I said “that’s it – no matter what happens, I did something.” But do I really mean it? If nobody’s interested, will I still feel that way?

As I spun down the street in my Subaru, I saw another friend walking her dog and I rolled down the window and shouted and waved. Some opera was playing on the car radio and I sang along like I was in a Woody Allen movie when it was still okay to like Woody Allen movies. I thought “This is happiness.”

*

I’ve been working so hard and so long to get all the pieces together for this record to come out. It’s been busy, it’s been nuts and now – it’s totally quiet.

The calm before the storm? Or is this the storm? Was the storm last week? Have I already been as busy as I’m going to get and the rest is all downhill?

*

An older couple in the store yesterday said “You look just like Mary Steenburgen. You know, she’s married to Ted Danson?” I nodded – I have heard that since the eighties. “You could sign up for one of those doubles agencies,” the man said. “My cousin does it – he looks like Sean Connery. Old Sean Connery. They hire him to show up at parties in a tuxedo and pose with a martini. You could do it too.” I make a note (Old Mary Steenburgen) and file it away with other backup plans.

*

I got an email notice that the CD version of the album was coming via UPS yesterday – seven large boxes. I was looking forward to the knock on the door and the same UPS guy who drops off book orders at the bookstore saying “hey sign here” and joking about more books for the store and me saying all proudly “no it’s my new album.” But somehow the truck came and went and there were seven boxes stacked neatly on the front porch, no signature required.

*

I got an email from Amazon: “Based on your browsing history, we thought you might be interested in this” and it was a listing for my new album. I hope I’m not the only person who got that message?

*

A customer I’ve served for six years at the bookstore/bar said “I heard your voice on the radio. They were playing your new song, about The Old Guys? Sweet. Hey, how much is this book?”

*

I want to send my most precious critic the new album to listen to, but I’m scared. Her opinion means so much to me. At the same time, I don’t want her to feel required to have an opinion of work I do. Is there any show biz mother who doesn’t have Diana Scarwid as Christina Crawford’s scathing “I am not… one of your FANS!!!” from Mommy Dearest lurking somewhere in the corridors of her mind? Being a proud parent comes easy and natural, but expecting pride or even acknowledgement from your kids feels like asking too much. At the same time, as I press send on this download link to my darling brilliant daughter, I only hope she’ll think I did something good.

*

We went to see Loudon Wainwright last night. Seventy-two – still writing, performing – making me laugh and cry with his words, a certain chord on a guitar and his wit and world view. A new record is a moment. But it’s part of this – a lifetime of words, chords; making something that wasn’t there before.  I want this.

 

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The Old Guys comes out February 23. Tour dates and other info here.

13 thoughts on ““You Might Be Interested In This”

  1. Marti Jones

    Oh, BRAVO!!!! This is all so amusingly SPOT ON! I have ordered your new CD and we can’t wait to get it! I AM a fan of your music, art, and writing, Ms. Rigby. You are a valuable voice. I am not the only one who thinks so, by the way…

  2. Clif

    Such a great read as usual. My daughter was behind me when I was reading your post and had to stop and come over and see what was so funny (the backup plan). I pre-ordered the new album on iTunes because they said it hasn’t been released yet??? Hoping to see you in NY soon!

    1. amyrigby

      Ha ha – the backup plan. The man seemed adamant that I take his suggestion seriously! THanks for pre-ordering the album Clif, it is released next Friday Feb 23. See you in the city!

  3. rainperry

    I relate to this on so many levels. I can’t wait for this record to come out! I can’t wait for the tour that supports it – or support you – or whatever touring is supposed to do these days.

  4. C Bent-Marshall

    Great read Amy, you are not the only one who got the message I am sure there are many of us.
    Good luck with the new album I look forward to seeing you in Leicester in the UK.
    Best wishes to Eric .

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