The OEAAs are cool.
Last night, the awards for the 9th annual Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards were given. I was given the award to Best New Artist. Sterile hotel ballroom, pricey drinks, cheesy award show music, and sound snafus aside, I am SO HONORED. I mean that 500%.
When I moved to Omaha almost two years ago after playing music in Boston and Austin, I was in the midst of giving up on music completely. I didn't believe I had anything to offer, I didn't believe I could make any real money, and I thought I'd wasted a lot of time in college. A strange series of events that one could string together and attribute to the universe having my back (and huge encouragement from Mark), led me to pick up the guitar again and go to an open mic and see what would happen.
What happened was I met the people who play music in Omaha. I was taken in by people like Becky Lowry, Hector Anchando, Aly Peeler, John Klemmensen, Vern Ferguson, Amy Wilke (who deserves her own special award for supporting music in Omaha... and cleavage), Jon Ochsner, Marq Manner, Emily Engles, Sam Burt, Luke Pruitt, Isaiah Sheese, Jason Burkum, Brad Hoshaw, Matt Whipkey, Anthony Cavico, Edem, Jessica Errett, Tara Vaughn, Matt Lorence, Johnny Leonovicz, Joe Shea, Morgan Karabel... this list could go on forever. I volunteered for Omaha Girls Rock and got as much (probably more) inspiration and encouragement as I gave to the campers. I started playing bass, Matt let me borrow his Gretsch and I was lost in it. Completely revived and re-enchanted with the magic of making music by the people I found in Omaha. I'm so grateful.
It seems like a lot of people think these awards are bullshit or stacked or lame or whatever. I think a group of people I truly admire and respect who work their asses off for nothing but the love of our music and arts scene looked around and decided to do something nice for a group of people who deal with a lot of shit on a regular basis. I'm proud to be a part of this community, I'm thankful for a place I can be an artist in progress, and I'm ready to work to make Omaha the best it can be.
See you out there.