On the eve of my graduation at the University of Georgia, I was given the opportunity to fulfill a 4-year dream and play at Athen's holy grail venue, the Georgia Theatre. Over the past few years, I have seen some of my own heroes perform in the room, and have on many occasions dreamed of sitting down in the green room as an artist. Turns out unexpectedly, there are a lot of stairs to climb between the stage and the green room. But nonetheless, I did it. I was honored with the privilege of playing at a benefit concert hosted by a student-run organization called Breaking the Shackles, which benefits organizations that fight the epidemic of human trafficking - a cause I am very passionate about tackling as a society.
When the clock struck 8:00, I got a thumbs-up from across the stage, and I went into airplane mode. I soaked up every minute the best I could, and delivered what I believe to be my best performance to date. The most beautiful part about the whole ordeal was the personal payoff. I did not sell the theatre out, much less headline the show. But, I hit a milestone. And to me, hitting milestones is the vehicle to seeing a dream realized.
I cannot tell you how many nights I have spent in college trying to churn out songs until the sun rose. And frankly put, I am not the songwriter I will be in 5 years down the road. But, the beauty of music is getting to come together with other people and sharing a moment.
There was laughter.
There were tears.
There were awkward jokes about free birds.
Truly, I was honored and humbled to play for some amazing fans and open for some incredible artists...all in the name of a cause that I so highly support and seek to fight.
If you missed the concert, check the link below for more information on how the night went!
Images taken and edited by the extremely talented Katherine Chesbro.