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New York, New York


A New York harpist trying to figure things out - and the mishaps and adventures that inevitably ensue.

Running from the Fraud Police

Kathryn Sloat

Have you ever had the feeling that you are just kind of faking your way through life? That you don’t really know what you’re doing, and sooner or later someone will find out and call you out on it? 

Rock musician Amanda Palmer calls this “someone” the Fraud Police - the fear that there is some secret police force that will find out that you’re faking it and will come and take you away. I often have this feeling, especially when I am being paid more money to play a gig. In the back of my mind there is always that nagging feeling that I don’t really belong there, and at some point someone will point at me and say hey, what is this kid doing here? Couldn’t we get a real harpist to play?

I am still figuring out how to beat the Fraud Police, but I think what it comes down to is self-confidence. Knowing that while you certainly aren’t perfect, you are a good musician and you deserve to be where you are. I’ve learned how to take compliments, and not dismiss them in my mind - although it still surprises me sometimes when I get them. For example, I am currently playing a musical, and I worked really hard on the part. I was sitting at a dinner table where the one of the trumpet players was talking to the music director about the show, and suddenly he pointed at me and said, “Hey. She sounds GOOD.” I was surprised, but gratified, that someone noticed the effort I had made. 

Take that, Fraud Police. 

I still make rookie mistakes (like playing this musical without picks, and now I’m paying for it with a blood blister), but it’s important to forgive yourself and move on. No one does everything right all the time, and I have the sneaking suspicion I’m not the only one making it up as I go along. 

Fake it till you make it, right?

Anyone know how to get rid of a blood blister?