Gigology (noun) The science of explaining the efficacy of one's gig, always applied retrospectively within the group of those involved and later within the mind of the main protagonist as he/she drives home in the early hours of the morning wondering what they are doing with his/her life/art/money.
It is often stated that success has many fathers, while failure is an orphan. When gigs go well, for example, the "fathers" are the artist and their performance, not to mention the venue owners and their hospitality, the promoter and their promotion skills and the audience's heart-filled involvement.
When gigs go badly, nobody wants to cuddle that baby. It's because of the weather, because of another show down the road or because the town in question sucks on this-or-that-or-every-night. In a sense, there are many fathers to a failed gig, but they are each absent fathers. They're not even Weekend Dads. If they were, at least they could turn up to a bar on a Saturday night.
Gigology is a dumb science, but it is an ancient one and it is still the only hammer a performer has in her toolbox for whacking that sense of futility on the head again. If things go well, it was me. If things go well, it was... un-me.
The Buddha (not his real name) told his followers that life is suffering. He said that impermanence, instability and change cause suffering. Since life is always changing, it's unchangingly and quite permanently a bit painful. Wise as.
Says I (not my real name), "Gigs are suffering." A gig comes and goes and I am always hanging around the drunks at the end of it all, struck by the impermanence of the thing and instability of my own self.
Having done live performance for a while now, I believe the best gigs are the ones that make me feel very here and very now, while also being very aware of my own impermanence and how deep the sky is. (This is also very helpful self-talk for when nobody shows up.)