Blue skies above, can't keep our hearts in jail... unfortunately. Locked in with loved ones? Perhaps you're going stir crazy in singledom? Hard not to feel the effects of this pandemic. Human family units stuck inside with their other loved ones, their progeny, ready to tear their skin off just to get a few moments alone, outside of washing hands ever 20 minutes.
I'm 23, student teaching and preparing Masters audition prep in East Lansing Michigan. Having scraped together rent and gas, I was living on a prayer. Coffee to get me through the mornings at the High School, the afternoons were spent at the Middle School making it work. My mentor catches me with saltines and mustard packets in hand.
I'm seeing and hearing this phase more often these days...Just for the 'gram, Instagram that is. In the days of Fake News, we're even more aware of Fake Photos. Instagram "influencers" and even celebrities faking certain locations, vacations, scenes etc, just for the 'gram. We've forgotten what quality and authenticity really looks like.
It's Friday night and the grocery store is abuzz. Couples bickering with each other on what to eat, Grandma looking at the Heinz ketchup label trying to decide what's the best ounce option to price ratio, lonely bachelors wandering the isles wondering why they came down that particular isle in the first place, and me, deciding what cereal to pick up...
About three years ago I’m blasting 70’s classic rock in the studio, Chicago’s classic Saturday in the Park to be exact, and we're styling the last bits before shooting some fashion line, and my 30 some year old stylist says to me snidely, “You play all the music my Dad likes. It’s like I’m in his Volvo. You know, Dad Rock.” Ahem, Yacht Rock.
It's programmed into our DNA. The fight or flight mechanism. We hear a loud thunderous bang outdoors, the squeal of tire and break pressure, or a child's cry and we start running. Our minds tell us something is happening, something imminent in the moment is occurring. Drama.
I'm 16 years old and look over to my father on the other side of the pool table, “I’m going to be a music teacher.” His response was classic, "Aleks my Son nooo. You’re not going to make An-E Mahhhhhhne.” ...
I'm 15 years old and marveling at the broguing on my new wingtips. As instructed, I went outside to scuff up the leather souls as to add traction and not fall on my face later that evening. As a young doubler in my teens, I was headed off to some sort of jazz gig. As I walked back stage with bass clarinet and bari sax in hand, I couldn't help but love the sound of the click of the wooden heel and the stage floor. Click clack, click clack.
My model gives me a blank stare as if it to say, "Is that it?" Mother gives me a glance, and by Mother and I mean Russ, my right hand man. He gingerly pulls me a side to talk technical, but what he really is saying as he whispers into my ear, "Maybe we take a few more, yeah?"
No this isn't a Cliff Notes version of Dostoyevsky's masterpiece. But the man did get it right. We're all gamblers at the slot machine of life. For some it's a career or business, maybe it's your family and children, personally it maybe that New Year's resolution. The list goes on and on and for us hustlers and artists it out there...