LAST Saturday, it was Open Mic Night over at Choices Restaurant in Brunei hotel in Bandar Seri Begawan and amidst the strumming of guitars and nervous voices, I had only one thought throughout the evening, "where has all this talent been hiding?"
Students as young as 15 years old were featured on the stage, some showcasing songs they had written themselves and their audience probably felt that despite their fresh ages, there was that aura of entertainment professionalism.
While there may not be very many opportunities for those youth to showcase their musical abilities (or any other talent for that matter), one has to be there to see just how many friends showed up to give moral support. Parents also braved the full house, yelling back "I love you too" when a song was dedicated to them.
It was reminiscent of the time I was in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam earlier this year where a coffeeshop saved space for university art and music students to share their talents with patrons. I was told it was a regular thing.
Most performers, despite getting the initial jitters (who wouldn't with unpredictable crowds?), get a natural high from playing for others. The feeling is very different from playing in your own room and listening to your own voice echoing back in the shower. Although there are plenty of us who prefer singing to ourselves, the beauty of talent is that it is best shared.
Sharing our abilities and showcasing them to others not only helps to boost self esteem but it also helps us to ensure the highest quality of 'work' as well as a way to obtain feedback. A painter who doesn't exhibit his pieces to anybody might never learn what he lacks, potentially losing the ability to sharpen his existing skills.
Being proud of your own abilities and skills is part of maintaining good mental health. We all have different talents of varying proficiencies. While some are highly marketable, others may simply be very entertaining at best. Regardless of what your talent is, never think of it as not being as good as another. It's just not fair to compare apples to oranges.
If you can be proud of your own talents then you're a lot closer to loving yourself entirely and self love can be a major factor in deciding how you end up going through life.
So live like there's no tomorrow, pray like you'll die the next day and do whatever it is that you're good at like no one's watching.
The views expressed by the author are his own and do not reflect the views of The Brunei Times.
The Brunei Times
Monday, July 9, 2012
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