A Series of Escalating Dares, Part 1.5

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Okay, I know this is not an “escalating dares” gif. Source here.

(This post is 1.5 of my “escalating dares” series because I actually have at least two more separate dares in the works…only I’m being kind of a chicken about getting them going. Today’s post is more of a follow-up to Part 1, hence the “1.5.”)

So remember how I said I was going to give a bunch of recitals, and I was going to announce dates and locations?

It’s happening! I have four recitals in April that you—yes, you!—are invited to, provided you are in the California Bay Area. They have been scheduled, people have been invited, and I’m already past the point of no return. So…no backing out now. (Not that I was planning to back out, mind you, but now I’m really, truly on the hook for this.)

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The dates are as follows:

April 12 (Saturday), 3:00 PM — Union City

April 13 (Sunday), 3:00 PM — Oakland

April 19 (Saturday), 5:00 PM — Stockton

April 27 (Sunday), 2:00 PM — San Jose

I’m not publicly posting addresses because some of these are people’s private residences, so if you are interested in coming and would like the address, please email concerts[at]sharonsu.com.

A huge thank you to the very generous people who are allowing me to give concerts and have been so very kind. Seriously, when I put out a call for house concert venues I was expecting that people would either 1) quietly snicker and ignore me altogether or 2) loudly snicker and tell me that this is a stupid idea but instead of either of those two things happening, people were actually super supportive (!) and willing to go well out of their way for me (!!) so now I feel very humbled and…also a little scared.

So once again: you are invited, as long as you are not a serial killer or a person with noxious B.O. If neither of those things describe you, please come!

If you are a serial killer and/or person with noxious B.O., kindly stay at home. Thank you.

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A Series of Escalating Dares, Part 1

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This may come as a surprise to those of you who knew me in college and/or high school, but over a year ago I developed something of a phobia of performing.

(I’m imagining that, upon reading that, your eyes widened in shock and you uttered a little scream and you had to reach for your smelling salts. I’m also imagining that you have smelling salts.)

It was a development that surprised me more than anyone. Despite being painfully shy in anything remotely resembling a social situation my whole life, I’ve always been a little bit of quite a show-off when it came to the piano. If a store or mall had a piano, I’d run to it and start showing off with the flashiest piece in my repertoire. Sometimes my mom would open the front door to let the sun warm up the living room; when that happened I’d head to the keys to grace the neighborhood with my musical presence. One time, when I was very young and my parents were hosting a party, I hopped out of bed, flew downstairs to the piano in my pajamas and promptly started playing for the guests, all of whom were adults I was normally too timid to talk to. In my mind, the people of the world were my adoring audience and I was always ready to impress.

(This might all sound very cute but I really had quite the ego all the way through the end of college, which in hindsight was sometimes a very ugly quality. I share the cuter anecdotes so you’re not completely turned off by my conceitedness.)

Well anyway, some time into my post-college studies I became painfully self-conscious of my shortcomings as a musician, which was both a good thing and a bad thing. It was good because it spurred me to work on becoming better, and bad because I developed the aforementioned phobia of performing.

After more than a year of not performing and my sudden stage fright not showing any sign of quietly melting away, I’ve decided that I just need to suck it up and make myself get out there. But I’m not going to schedule one little recital and get it over with and let myself off the hook that easily.

Nope, I’ve dared myself to give recitals in as many places as people will let me. I have to make up for quite a lot of not-performing after all, and I have to keep forcing myself to do the thing that scares me until it doesn’t scare me anymore.

Or until I die. Whichever comes first.

So, people of the Bay Area, if you have a piano, and you’re tickled by the idea of hosting a private concert in your house like an old-timey fancy person in the next coming months, email me at “sharon [at] sharonsu [dot] com” with the subject line “House Recital.” The recital will be free of admission, you can invite anyone you want (relatives? friends? romantic interest you’d like to impress?) and I will bring you a little thank-you gift. Outside of the thank-you gift, I’m not making any promises; this could be wonderful, or it could be terrible, but we’re all going to come out of it alive.*

*barring any sudden natural disasters. California’s been overdue for The Big One for a while now.

A very heartfelt thank you to all the people who have already answered my original call on Facebook and offered me their homes or workplaces. I’ve been very touched (and a little scared) by your responses.

And hey, if this turns out to be a good experience (which I genuinely think it will) I might start doing this on a regular basis.

Stay tuned for the eventual blog post in which I announce dates and locations. (Out of privacy concerns, only cities will be publicly posted and addresses will be messaged to people who inquire about going.)

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Adventures in Letterpress Printing/You can buy me on Etsy

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Um, how terrible am I at blogging in a timely manner? Remember how, 11 months ago, I promised that I would write a blog post about the amazing Christmas present that Bryce got me? Well…psych! It’s been almost a whole year and I never wrote that post.

So I’ll just tell you guys. Bryce got me a printing press. A real-deal spiffed-up antique Baltimore tabletop letterpress. (It’s like a tiny version of the press from this post.) AND he got me a whole set of type and ink and everything you need to print things.

In other news, Bryce is the most perfect boyfriend ever and no, you can’t have him.

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Anyway, I recently started making real things with my letterpress (before I was just printing gibberish and swear words, because I am ten years old) and since I know I’m not the only person who loves letterpress stuff, I put my stuff on Etsy!

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The difference between everyone else’s letterpress stuff and mine is that my letterpress stuff has what I think of as an irreverent je ne sais quoi, and what other people might think of as immaturity. Tomato, tomahto.

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Anyway, go read my amusing copy, and admire my stuff, and maybe buy my stuff? Yeah?

 

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