Archive for September, 2014

Being Brave

Monday, September 1st, 2014

michael sam rams

Currently in the news, Michael Sam was not signed by any NFL team.  A GM of an NFL franchise admitted that he wanted to sign Michael but "was afraid of the media attention."  So my thought was that these big bad football types are really acting like a bunch of cowards.  This is all the more apparent because Michael Sam's story is one of such raw courage in the face of fear and ignorance.  Could the contrast be more stark here?

This reminds me of my own career in music and show design.  I feel I can say with confidence that every time I've had a really big success and a show has been a huge hit, it always was a show where we took a risk.  A lot of courage was on display by the director and his staff, the marchers, and the designer.

Nothing great ever comes from playing it safe.  Even if you win with the safe production, will you really look back on it as a special moment in your life or career?  Many times a monumental failure can be a great accomplishment and something to be proud of. At least you "went for it" and tried something.  

This Fall I've created two marching productions which are probably two of the most daring of my career.  Both shows are taking a risk, and the directors have taken a "leap of faith" with both concepts.  Time will tell if these shows work, if they are successful, or even if people like them.  I certainly hope that audiences are buzzing and talking after seeing these shows, and hopefully out of excitement and not horror!  But either way, everyone involved in both shows will have AN EXPERIENCE!  Something to tell their kids about!  Something to be proud of.  

There's something to be said for trying, for blazing a new trail, for sticking your neck out!  It's boring to be normal and do what's expected.  

So hopefully an NFL team will grow a pair, do the right thing, and bring Michael Sam on to sack quarterbacks every Sunday.  And hopefully this Fall we'll see designers and marchers taking risks.  I feel confident that if they do, they'll have a great adventure, have a great time, and learn that being brave IS worth the risk.