The Actors Jam Bar is fairly unique in my experience in having quite a chaotic open stage with all the equipment provided by the establishment so that anyone can come in and pick up a Stratocaster, a bass, or sit at the drum set or the keyboards, or just stand behind the mic and read lyrics from the large iPad kind of thing. You can play anything, sing anything.
It used to be there was an acoustic guitar, but I saw no trace of that last night. So I decided to try the Strat. I’ve never really played in public with an electric guitar, doing all my stuff on the acoustic, even when I play with a band. But two nights ago after I spoke to that Englishman I mentioned in the food hawker’s next to the Actors Jam Bar, I told him how little confidence I had in playing the electric guitar.
He said, nuts. The way I played I could do the electric with no problem. So it was that I suddenly had a little confidence, and last night playing on the stage in a relaxed environment at actors with no acoustic guitar to fall back on, I was forced to belt it out on the electric. And to my great surprise and pleasure, I has a really great time and felt the rockin’ like I never felt it before.
So it was that thanks to an open stage, an anything goes attitude, and no pressure from an audience expecting little, I was able to discover another musical performance pleasure. Oh, this was miles away from anything even vaguely resembling Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page. But it was f-ing cool and fun!
The Value of a Jamming Bar like Actors
It made me realize the value of jamming bars like this as a place to do stuff you’d never try otherwise, and given that at Actors there is no pretension to great music – check out the videos to figure that one out – it was an ideal place to do something new. Having said that, I’d never have done it if I had my guitar with me. It was also vital that the music went on until after 2 AM – although I don’t now how long, since I returned to the food hawker next door to have my noodle dinner and knock back a Tiger beer.