My previous post is apparently coming off as much more whiny than I intended. I get very nervous on stage, in general. So I always think I'm crashing and burning, no matter what's actually happening.
Why play on stage even if you get stage fright: it gets easier when you do it a lot. It impresses chicks. It's even more annoying sitting in the audience watching somebody else play your music wrong (which gets you no chicks, they all go for the performer). Nobody wants to go to a show of tape music. It's almost always worth it. Audience reaction is the best way to figure out what parts of pieces are working and what parts aren't.
In the art music scene, we brag about playing in front of hostile audiences. One time, in Connecticut, I had a friend who ran a folk music open mic night. She invited me to come play a political piece I was working on, with the voice of a shrill, horrible far right political pundit. Just about everybody got up and left and the ones who remained tried to give me unfriendly, helpful advice including things like the definition of music, since I was obviously unclear on it. That was a hostile audience. BrumCon? That was mixed.
That was surprising for me: playing in front of a mixed audience, since it was a new experience. And then there were musical problems where I was kind of fighting my gear. That happens sometimes. I now know what changes I need to make before my next show. It's somewhat stressful, but not like, say, having a tuba that you're playing suddenly fall apart on stage.
I would totally be into playing in front of the same or a similar group again. And next time, I'll have a better idea what to expect. I'm glad I added in the 8 bit FX, as that seemed to go over really well. I'm also glad I didn't get my piece with samples from BNP politicians together. (The British National Party is allied with the French National Front (Le Pen's party) and other National Socialist parties around Europe. They're bad people.)
After I packed up, I wandered into the bar next door, where a bunch of the attendees, including the next speaker who was supposed to have started already, were having pints. One friendly guy bought me a Guinness. I chatted a bit with people and then went to the next talk which was on web security and how to hack social networking sites. And how to prevent those hacks. It was interesting and would have been way useful were I still a web developer. You can't just check IDs against permissions. You need to have some logic in there also. There are permission sets that are impossible. Like a Admin should also have the Moderator bit set, for a hypothetical example, and if they don't, they got to be an Admin through abnormal means.
Then, I chatted with more people, including one guy who books gigs for a series in London. :) I looked at the clock and it was 17:30. I'd left Xena, my dog, locked in a crate since 10:00 so I decided to bike home with my gear, give her a walk and then bike back to catch the end of things. It was such a lovely day in the park! So bright and sunny and warm! We had a lovely walk and then I sat down for a moment on my bed . . . and woke several hours later. Ha! I can only drink half a pint, or I get totally non-functional. It's so pathetic. I need to start going to the gym to put on some weight!