McKenzie Ellis, aka Mothica, is one of the best people around, so it's with great pleasure that we present you with her first guest feature for the site - an insight into the thought process surrounding her debut show. Check it out below, and head here to check out her music.

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1. Anticipation Gives You The Superpower To Slow Down Time

I knew about my show three months prior to the date. Of course, "in three months" sounded like centuries away so I didn't start really practicing until a month and a half out. I didn't pick the songs I was going to play until the week of, and during those 7 days, I felt like I was stuck in molasses. I thought my anxiety would make the days flash by and that I would wake up the day of the show wondering how it came so soon, but instead my brain let me soak in every nail-biting moment of the countdown.

2. Day Of Show: Free Rollercoaster Ride!

The day of the show, I kept asking myself if I had drank coffee or taken amphetamines because my heart was beating fast, my hands shaky, and my thoughts were all over the place. My confidence before my show ranged from "Pop Diva Performance Slayer" to "Legally Change Name & Flee The Country."

P.S. Stress napping leads to awful dreams about showing up to the show to sing songs you've never heard before and the only sound coming out of your throat being a "quack!"

3. A Series Of Unexpected Events

The venue, a place I've attended for shows countless times, somehow looked different than how I imagined. How will I perform when the stage is 6 inches taller than how I remember it?! The previous show was running late, which meant -- Soundcheck didn't exist. I tried to breathe deeply knowing that my first show ever *OF ALL TIME* was going to run without me hearing myself until the moment I sang. Scary stuff, but the show must go on.

4. Ignore The Metacognitive Existential Crisis You're Having While Performing

"Am I doing this? Is this happening? Am I performing right now? At this second? WTF???"


"Ok, this is happening."


... is what was going on in my head for a portion of my set. I tried to let loose and sing like I was alone in my room, but I felt like I was on autopilot in a lucid dream. (Or was I?)

5. I Have No Control Of My Body

[Insert gif of Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights not knowing what to do with his hands during a press interview.]

Yep. When I thought I couldn't be anymore stiff and uncomfortable in my posture than when I'm in a packed subway car -- here I was -- singing like a cryogenically frozen hunchback of notre dame.

6. Your Friends Become Cheerleaders

Thank god for my friends. Seriously, I'm so glad I convinced a few close friends to come out. The whole performance felt like I was auditioning for a children's talent show and my friends were in the front cheering me on like proud moms. They also comforted me and inflated my ego afterwards when I felt the urge to ditch my music career and run away to join the circus.

7. Dear Myself, Remember! It's An Experience

The "First" of anything should be taken as it is - a learning experience. I didn't rake myself over the coals for failing my driver's license test the first time, so why am I so quick to belittle myself for having the courage to tackle the daunting task of singing in front of others for the first time? It's been three days since my show and although, I expected immediate relief scurrying off the stage, the sweet relief has come to me three days later. I accept the experience for what it was, and can only choose to better myself from what I learned being on a stage. I thought I had previously analyzed every possible outcome, but nothing can compare to the tangibility of real world experience. The biggest accomplishment of the night is that I did it. I finally did what had haunted my mind since I began making music privately. I shared it. Tentatively, nervously, the words I wrote before rattled out of my voice unto the ears of others and now I can grow and expand and progress. I only hope this is the first of many frozen waters I dip my toe in. Keep on keeping on!