Archive for July, 2011

MUSIC: Thanks for the Gesture

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

As I am writing this, the last week of July, I am literally at the most difficult time of my entire work year.  Band Camp rehearsals are starting all over and shows must be completed.  I’ve been writing music since November and drills since early June and, quite frankly, I am exhausted!  I’m worn out, kaput, a limp noodle.  But the work is not done, so I must keep going.

At this moment I have completed 4 drills, am well into two others, and starting the last one tomorrow.  Each one is painstakingly tied to music which was carefully written and paced months ago, and now is the time to see the vision for each show to completion.  For the first time ever, I’m creating 7 complete productions…music and drill, along with costume and flag designs to a great degree.  Being this invested in so many shows requires a lot of concentration, a true investment of the best I have.

So anyway, I’m exhausted and I want to say that I really appreciate the small gestures of appreciation that I often get from my clients.  It’s amazing that in the thick of the most intense time of my work year, a simple “thank you” or short note of appreciation can lift my spirits and keep me going.  Every client has a different personality and flair to them, and some are more apt to show their appreciation than others.  But all show it, in some way, and it’s always appreciated.

So if you are working with someone who is giving their all, and spending a lot of time and energy….giving you the best of their soul and substance, don’t forget to stop and let them know that you appreciate this great gift.  We all are moving through this world together, and most people really do try to give their best, especially to things that they love and which matter to them.   So let them know they are special, and their hard work really is noticed.  A small gesture, a pat on the back, a quick thank you, some recognition…. it will help them fly and continue to give their best.

And to my friends and clients who do that for me, you really do keep me going, and keep me inspired to give my best always.  Thank you!

LIFE: We’re All in This Together

Monday, July 4th, 2011

I’ve found myself surrounded lately by a lot of loud folk behaving very badly. I’m sure that my overwork and exhaustion is helping to attract these people to me, but regardless of my responsibility, the world certainly seems full of self-absorbed louts.

I really don’t want to be cynical, but it seems that many  people have come to believe that it’s “them against the world.”  Of course, the truth is that “we’re all in this together” and the more we work together and cooperate, the better all of our lives will be.

But you won’t get this message from the latest reality show.  The fabulous star of the “Housewives of Bad  Behavior County” appears to be getting ahead by stepping on her friends and stabbing any back in her way.  This could all be in the editing, but it’s not a very encouraging message.

The advent of cell phones has also tended to pull people into their own personal bubble.  Society’s normal progression of creating rules of behavior and decorum just can’t keep up with the changes in today’s frantically paced world.  So we end up in scuffles with texters in movie theaters and sitting in silent dinners with someone who finds their friends’ texts more interesting than our company.

I can attest that when I’m on my phone, I tend to forget where I am and who’s around me.  Of course, this is the huge danger of using the phone while driving.  We’re inherently less aware, if in fact “not present” at all in what we’re doing.

Some might say that our individual pain in today’s world pushes us to find this escape, to remove ourselves from the reality that is our own lives.  But this is not a successful or joyful way to spend our brief time in this existence.  Perhaps we all need to stop and re-read “The Power of Now” and remember why THIS MOMENT is truly the only one we have.

So if I’m in a place I love and those around me are acting like jerks, what’s a beautiful person to do?  My own enjoyment and happiness seems to be jeopardized by someone else who is only thinking of themselves.  But if I’m in a line in a theme park, or in any situation around others, it can’t ONLY be about me.  I’m in an experience with MANY other people, and my behavior and attitude is having an impact on everyone around me at that very moment.

I tend to only speak up if my enjoyment simply cannot be continued because of their behavior…or they seem unlikely to stop.  (I suggest a “counting to 10…)  But I’ll also speak up if I feel that someone’s behavior is going to hurt someone else or cause damage to some property that I love or that is valuable.  This does not always end up with a pleasant outcome, because we all know that someone who is unaware and feeling entitled is not likely to appreciate being called out for this behavior.  Then it’s my job to remain the adult, be as kind as possible, and not let it ruin my day.

Thank goodness for a frosty mug of butterbeer and a friendly bartender to lighten the mood!  Now let’s all get out of our head, out of our personal bubble, and realize that we’re all in this together.  Life works better when we work together, cooperate, and stay aware of our real place in the world.