Best Laid Plans: Stumbling back into the arts, one book, class, & practice session at a time…

Ideally, this week would’ve been perfect to start trying my new schedule out. But as I’ve barely been able to keep my eyes open and my throat from trying to cave in on itself the past three days, yeah, that just wasn’t going to happen.


When I could sit and read more than a few minutes at a time, I chose to read and listen to texts and videos from Masterclasses that I’d signed up for. Yes, the all-access pass is a blessing and a curse, because my impulsive nature makes me want to sign up for nearly every damned thing out there.

On the other hand, I know I’ll be using the guidance and wisdom in said videos to the best of my ability.

I spent the week going through introductory videos for each teacher I have, and maybe the first two classes to get a gist for what to expect (and how much time and how many books and other things I’ll need). What struck me is the similarities in how these teachers think in regards to being successful.

The more introductory videos I watched, the more a pattern emerged: these teachers are telling me that I need to be persistent, that I need to observe, listen, and really want what it is I’m trying to do. Really pay attention to who I am and what I want and just do it, and don’t let anybody tell you you’re crazy, just do it. None of this half-assed stuff I’ve been doing all these years.

Similar to what Julia Cameron says in The Artist’s Way, if you’ve read that one. A few hundred slaps to the noggin’ should’ve happened before now (sigh).

Image result for gif head slap

Thanks, Frank and Jane

Somehow I’ve gotten it into my head, eons ago, that working with the arts just wasn’t practical and so I had to work on other things. So I let the things I used to love doing fall by the wayside. Even the clarinet–I’ve discovered that I’m so out of touch with the instrument I played for four years I might as well start over from scratch with it.

Heavens, the amount of time and pain/numbness it’ll take to get my embouchure back to shape–I’m shuddering just thinking about it.

It’s going to take a lot of time, and some slow starting (especially with the clarinet), but it will be worth it if I can get my creative vibe back. And then learning keyboard/piano, and the guitar at the same time. A little for each, a little each day, stretching it all out til I am comfortable and can spend several hours playing.

I love music. It’s the only thing besides books and painting that I want to spend hours with every day. And learning how to re-read music, that will be a big thing for me.electric-guitar-3251656_1280

And yes, for the guitar players out there, I know they have tabulature stuff I can work with. For one, I don’t know how to read or understand any of that (yet), and for another, if I’m going to spend all this time relearning how to read music for the clarinet, I might as well do the same for piano and guitar. It’s just what I’m used to…and I have Pink Floyd songbooks that are piano, vocal and guitar that I am giddy to try out. It’ll be tough, but neat.

I swear, the more I watch the musicians online, the more I want to learn to do what they do, and try new things. Granted, I’ve never even messed with electronic music or synthesizers or anything like that, so that’s a WAY off in the future thing for me…but getting the basics of music down, that’s something huge. But I just get all misty-eyed thinking about the cool things I’d love to do now when I look at Hans Zimmer and Herbie Hancock’s masterclasses… BUT, I have to do some serious re-learning, starting from scratch.

And then there’s writing, which yes, I’ve been trying but letting life beat me down and stop me from working on it. Nope, I’ve got dates to keep with these teachers, I’ll just have to shove everything back to start next week instead, when I have Memorial Day to get a great head start.

But those things won’t do me much good if I don’t have a presence, if I can’t get out of the hole I shored up for myself and actually put myself out there. That’s where the comedy and acting courses come in, to give me confidence and find my voice, in every way.

My voice has taken the biggest physical hit this week–never had it just go out like that and THEN the congestion and sore throat and dizziness start. I am still super croaky and have to print up little info sheets for customers instead of taxing my voice today. On the other hand, I have the perfect excuse to be quiet for once, and I’m liking it just fine.

So, this is the start of my new blog category “The Limelight: stumbling into performing arts,” because this is pretty much what I’m doing. I have little guidance and no real friends around that could help me with this sort of thing, so if I can find events to participate in, or find ways to collaborate and make our own in my neck of the woods… well, you’ll get an eye-full of words about things that worked and didn’t, and any progress or little stumbles along the way.

But with all I’ve invested in trying to relearn music and really put myself out there, it’s time to take this dust-covered life out for a test drive.

Image result for gif kaneda uncovers bike

Can’t help the visual–I’ve been on an Akira-watching spree the past two weeks. Maybe that’s why I’m all cuckoo…

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