Special guest blog by StreetJelly musician Nicole Coward, a.k.a. SongbirdLive, on her recent trip meeting StreetJelly friends (from the US and Canada) in Mexico.
Making True Friends Online
Nicole and Kristi, Mexico 2015
The “new age” question of whether it’s possible to “make true friends online” is an interesting one. For sure, one of the things I love most about my experience on StreetJelly.com has been meeting new people. People who show genuine care for each other, learning each others strengths, weaknesses and struggles, supporting each other along their paths and watching each other grow…sure sounds like friendship doesn’t it? So what happens when you finally meet someone face to face whom you’ve already connected with online…
Recently, me and the aptly named “whispering John” were lucky to meet Kristi “Lady Mellow” and Rick “Keys Tomato” when we found out we were staying at places less then 15 minutes apart from each other IN MEXICO and at the SAME TIME!! Small world eh? (that was my Canadian’ness coming out there).
It was a magical evening, singing together under the stars on a warm night, in the centre square of a small Mexican town. Kristi was fantastic with vocal harmonies, and I was honoured when she told me (before singing together my original song “Through My Window”) how she was so excited to sing this in person after she has sang along with me so many times before in her kitchen. We can easily forget how music connects us, we can never fully see all of it’s powerful reaches, and a platform like Streetjelly really magnifies it!
Friends? Definitely! Instantly! Or maybe we were even before meeting in person 😉 me and John made plans to visit Kristi and Rick sometime, sing more together and we hope to be meeting other “friends” from SJ, in person, in the near future.
Check out the YOUTUBE video John did of that evening…
If anyone had told me that I’d develop online friends who could become more like family I would have laughed. But that is truly what I’ve found on StreetJelly. We’ve become a community of people who laugh together, cry together and share our lives with one another. Now if that isn’t family then I don’t know what is.
When we first started out on StreetJelly, we didn’t really think that anyone would listen to or even like the kind of music that we played, but the support we have found is mind blowing. We have quickly developed a steady group of people that offer their encouragement and applause to the shows that we put on. I have seen the growth in my own family that has occurred since we started performing for our wonderful fans. Many of you have watched my son, Robert, sing, play piano and tell jokes as well as interact with those who watch us. But what you may not know is that due to his autism, he is usually a withdrawn child around new people and struggles with communication. However, the encouragement he has found on StreetJelly has helped him to open up and not only enjoy but look forward to meeting new people. I have also noticed a new found confidence in myself that I never imagined I could have.
The feeling of family was demonstrated to me on Saturday, April 6, 2013. As many of you know that was the day that Merv asked me to marry him. Together Merv and Frankie rallied the whole community to be there and help to make that day one I will never forget. To see all the work that went into such a spectacular night and to know that so many people cared and wanted to be a part of our big night was overwhelmingly touching.
That night started like any other, but when we began our show the number of viewers skyrocketed. Never before had I ever seen so many people all watching one show. I was blown away by the sheer number that amassed to watch us. Then the big moment happened as Merv asked the question that I have waited my entire life for and it may sound bizarre but I could hear the applause from our family that night. I have never felt as much love overflowing as I did that night. I thank everyone who came out to be a part of that amazing experience, especially our King, Frankie, you rock. You truly helped to make it a magical and unforgettable event.
As I write this I am reminded of the words of a song that my family and I close every show with and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that these words apply to each and every one of you in StreetJelly land.
“We’re running out of trees and we’re running out of space but we’ll never run out of good people,”from Great Big Sea’s Good People