Today I wanted to talk about brushes with fame. A humorous and shameless name dropping look at how, especially in the age of social networking, we are all living our own game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
That plan went off the rails as I watched the truly heartfelt sadness at the passing of Prince yesterday, I wondered why we mourn so deeply the passing of musicians, actors, authors, artists? (Note I didn’t say “celebrities”, fame comes too cheaply these days) We don’t know these people. Our daily lives are not going to be impacted like the death of family, friends or even coworkers we don’t particularly like.
Then I realized, we do know them. Beyond overcoming stage fright, performance anxiety, or the fear of having a creation rejected: the ones we sing in a hair brush to at fourteen, and cry into a pillow with, write fan letters to, forget to breathe in the theater with, or scream at the pages for, are the ones who allow us a piece of themselves. Every chord, every lyric, every dramatic pause or perfectly timed punchline, every word on the page and brushstroke on canvas opens them up to us.
We find hope and laughter and courage to try something for ourselves. Maybe we try community theater, learn to paint, sing in church, audition for The Voice or even write a book.
When Frank Sinatra died it was said his music was the sound track to the lives of a generation. We all have a sound track, a powerpoint or if you are really old school a mix tape that marks moments in our lives. I think we mourn so deeply because the artists who help us mark those memories won’t be there for the next one and maybe we fear just a bit that the good times won’t be as bright and the bad as bearable without them.
One artist/group in particular has provided my soundtrack for the last several years. I’ve had the joy of blasting his album, Octobersong, and singing at the top of my lungs with my dearest friends, singing along with live performances and crying into a pillow or shoulder of one of those friends when a lyric touched my heart, (cue shameless name dropping) and without too much of a stretch on the word, can call them friends.
What artist make up your soundtrack? Have you met some? Know some? Do a little shameless name dropping with us. *wink*