Leaving Your Comfort Zone to Try Something New

Posted by Drew Stoga on October 3, 2011

persian foodThey say variety is the spice of life. Trying new things isn't always easy, but it can be rewarding.

Nowhere is this more true than in the performing arts. Even the most creative and talented performers can find themselves stuck in their comfort zone, repeating the same act over and over. Sometimes you don't know what you are capable of until you try something completely different.

Last week I received an email from pianist Jennifer Blaske (Atlanta, GA), a five-star GigMasters performer with a story that really put things in perspective. I just had to share Jennifer's story about trying something new:

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A few months ago I received a Gig Alert looking for a wedding pianist “who is Persian or knows a lot about Persian music.”

I laughed – I’m an Irish redhead who just barely knows where Persia is and who typically plays songs by The Beatles and Lady Gaga.

I was about to click on “Decline” when I suddenly clicked “Accept” and very quickly typed, “I don’t anything about Persian music, but I’d be happy to learn some if you could send me the music.”

“I’m sure I’ll never hear from this person again!” I said to my husband as I clicked the laptop shut.

But I did hear from her. The bride called me two days later, so excited that I was willing to learn Persian songs. She said that between Google and asking around, she had spent hours trying unsuccessfully to find someone who was willing to play Persian music.

Thus began a gig that was not just a gig – it was an adventure! I learned to play thirteen Persian songs that I had never heard before in my life. The bride and her mother came to my house a few weeks before the wedding to give me feedback about the tempos. They told me about the background and lyrics of the songs and explained some of the traditions and liturgy of a Persian wedding ceremony. They hugged me and laughed with me were thrilled to hear their favorite Persian songs on the piano!

The best part of this job was simply that the bride and groom and their family and friends were amazingly gracious and enthusiastic. During dinner, tables of people were singing and clapping along to the Persian songs. They clapped and cheered for me when I finished playing! The bride invited me to the front of the reception room and publicly thanked me for learning the Persian songs. She wrote a glowing review for my Gigmasters Profile, and they later sent me a link to their wedding photos. The bride later invited me to join her LinkedIn connection.

In a sense, I felt like I had made new friends.

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Getting this story from Jennifer literally made my day. For more great wedding stories, visit our Wedding Blog.

Also check out Jennifer's Profile and this photo of the happy couple:

persian wedding

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