It’s amazing how watching other creative types makes you think about your own process. Friday night I went to watch a friend of mine’s band perform. I’ve seen them a couple of times now — and never fail to be inspired — so I know that there will be moments when the lead singer completely loses it and goes jumps and screams. I know that the drummer will look like Animal from the Muppets, but the music will still be awesome.
However, there were a couple of other musicians that also played that night who were completely new to me. The one was very folksy and sang with his acoustic guitar and occasionally a woman who also had a guitar. The other guy….well he twitched and seized on stage while pulling faces that would make a Loony Tunes characters’ face hurt. He was accompanied by a mix master who did everything hovered over an iPod and he was pretty twitchtastic as well. The lyrics were completely out in left field and if you had just seen the visual without the noise, you would have thought the guy was on a bad trip. Or on his way to the insane asylum.
But he had a following, small but clearly there. They sang along to his songs and at least two of them got actual acknowledgement from the musicians. This guy, who looked like one of the criminally insane and spouted lyrics that would make most people die from embarrassment, had the guts to get on stage and let it all hang out. It didn’t matter that I thought his lyrics belonged in a 16 yr old emo boy’s diary and not coming out of the mouth of a 30-something man. Or that he was dressed kinda skeevy (I call it stalker gear). Or that he kept squating and covering his face in a Don’t-Look-At-Me sort of way. He went up there and owned the moment.
Right now the only person who has seen my work is my Mentor. I’ve shared snippets and paragraphs, but that’s about it. I don’t have the guts to show a full work to anyone just yet. But after seeing that — and realizing my disdain didn’t kill him or his dream — how can I not? If the Twitchy-Just-Performed-In-The-Subway-Guy can do it, why can’t I?