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I started playing in the coffeehouse open mic nights around town and what I realized over everything else was the overwhelming sense of community that came from the musicians playing these events. The nature of performing music either written by yourself or by someone else is the sense of giving it away. By writing or learning a song you have expressed a feeling or thought that you as a songwriter or musician have had. BUT by performing that piece of music you have given it to the audience to interpret the way that they find acceptable or relevant to their life. Which is one of the most incredible gifts to be able to give. The sense of community within musicians is important because you are able to give a truly great performance because you know every other person in the room who can do what you do has your back and they want you to just play and play from your heart. Any one person in an audience at any given moment in a performance can tell if you are being authentic or not. There is no faking it when you have a guitar in your hands and a microphone in front of your face. There are no other instruments to hide behind or make up for your lack of authenticity.