Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Our family has a friend who’s roots trace back to Slovakia, a small country between Poland and Hungary. He is a tall, burly, patient & gentle soul, with light brown hair, blue eyes, a big “handlebar” moustache and a hearty laugh.

He once told us of a “custom” that is worth repeating here. Each year on his birthday he would buy a small gift for his mother as a token of his appreciation for her hard work of giving birth & raising him. It impressed me so much because in North America we practically expect gifts on our birthday and my friend is happy to acknowledge that his life is a “gift”. Sadly, his mother passed away a few years ago, but what a beautiful way to honour her life "as woman, mother”!

Friday, March 16, 2007

In my first “touring” band, I worked with a great singer/front man from Detroit named Mark. (He was always changing his last name so I’ll leave it at that!) Mark had done a fair bit of theatre work & we were discussing the origin or intent of a performers' "bow" at the end of the show. Mark explained that an actor is constantly transmitting energy from the stage to the audience.

At the conclusion of the performance the audience acknowledges energy received by applauding the actors (this includes the cast & crew). Then, as an act of humility & to deflate any trace of ego...the actors lower themselves to the floor in a gesture known as a "bow or curtsy".

Today for a performer, this “dynamic”...this wonderful exchange of energy is all to often, absent. As performers we try harder & harder to garner the appreciation & attention of the audience. Frequently we send out the energy but receive no response.

Many times we feel like we are just “wallpaper”. In spite of hard work and hours of practice I have been mistaken at a performance as being a Karaoke singer. I come off stage feeling a bit like Rodney Dangerfield when he said “I can’t get no respect”!