Saturday, March 26, 2011


Well, I got this new hat so now I have to wear it, right?  Will it make my playing sound any better? You betcha! 

I need all the help I can get.

My buddy and co-conspirator, Neil Laurence and I are practicing half days two or three times a week to get ready for our premier together in front of an audience in Asheville NC, and I think I need "an attitude".  Maybe people will think that the chapeau is sooooo cool that they won't notice any minor slip ups on my part of the deal, playing bass accompaniment to Neil's singing his songs, strumming his uke, blowing the harp, and whistling.

If I could get away with it, I'd simply record my part and play a CD of it behind Neil as he performs solo.  But, no!  He expects me to stand next to him, to just hang it out there, so to speak, and play.  This takes a measure of bravery and devil-may-care panache that I am not used to displaying in public.  Sure I've exhibited lots of my paintings at art auctions, written, produced and shot hundreds of TV commercials, and other genre of visual media.  The latter endeavors typically involved much planning, feedback from other professionals, and a kind of distance that insulated my ego from the reactions of the end user.  

Not so with performing live music in front of an audience.  For one thing, people will be looking at me personally, not just my work.  Thus, the hat becomes an embellishment and a prop, a distraction and perhaps a point of interest to any specific listener.

So, it has finally come to this.  Where I used to consider myself to be an author of a work, now I am part of the work, part of the "show".

Eeeeeeek!  I'm "devolving".

But, then again maybe it's like my old mentor at film school, Tim Baar used to say.  "Sometimes you have to go back to go forward".  I had assumed that he meant that you merely backed up for a while.  I didn't realize that I would actually have to turn around and face my future full on. Another Life Lesson learned by Billy - The Future is ALWAYS in front of you.

I'll let you know how it works out in about a month.  Say, maybe I can wear the hat over my face.

Uh, probably not.

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