One of my rock star idols was in town last night. I can't say we have a relationship. It wasn't even until the end of the evening that he remembered who I was, and I'm not even sure he was telling the truth. Whiskey was involved, and with a real rock star, whiskey can be a dangerous thing.
Back in 1992, when I was a rock star wannabe, he singled me out in a workshop. "YOU!" he shouted as everyone turned and stared. "You have good rhythm, right on the beat, but your voice is perfectly flat. You have absolutely no musicality at all."
I could feel the heat rise in my face. I was mortified. I'd only just learned, only been trying to be a rock star for less than a year. I could have been defensive, dismissive, but I knew he was right.
I have worked damn hard at just that skill ever since.
I'd been thinking about his "mentoring" lately, when told I was too critical of dancers. Frankly, I took away so much more from that experience than any praise I ever got.
Two other pivotal moments for me:
- another rock star--a guy who is so popular he can book a Caribbean cruise just around himself and his band--had a dance absolutely fall apart on him. I learned even the gods aren't perfect; it's what they do afterwards that shows their character.
- yet another rock star--a guy who can single handedly play guitar for rhythm, whistle the melody, tap the beat with his foot, and shout out the calls, all at the same time--told me "You're never a hero in your home town."
Finally, after years of feeling like these are no longer my people, I've made a degree of peace with it all. And then today, I realized that my people were not gone, they were just somewhere else. These are my people.