Sunday, April 18, 2010
So, I have this strange uncanny ability to strike up sing alongs in public places. Many times it happens out of me being completely impulsive and I don't realize what I have done until I am singing into my fork and dancing through an all night diner half way through "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and notice that a surpirsing amount of people are singing and cheering. One time in another incident of spontaneous fork singing, I was in a waffle house somewhere between shows on the East coast in december of 06, and I rocked that waffle house in Rockin Around The Christmas Tree and a group of really old ladies came up to me and gave me a 20 dollar bill and took a picture with me, which made me very uncomfortable. Especially because I felt like I had been possessed or something. Well, this sort of happened to me tonight. I was at Waffle House in the small town out of the 70s that I live in, having diet coke, because everything they have there is full of things I don't want to consume, and the restaurant was full of good'ol down home people (you know the type, plaid shirts, baseball caps, overalls, big 80s hair, and Tammy Faye makeup circa 1986). Well, one of these fine folks had decided to operate the juke box and after Shameless by Garth Brooks, and Crazy by Patsy Cline played, God Bless The U.S.A. came on. Upon hearing the first few notes of the intro I was stricken with a flood of thoughts and impulses. I thought, "Wow, these are just the kind of people that would just bust out into this song if given the right leadership." and before I could stop myself I was on my feet with my best gospel tone and low and behold as soon as a few moments of shock went by, the entire restaurant errupted into song. I tried to really play it up and I landed the soaring notes at the end perfectly and looked around the room. A few of the men had their hats off and some other people had stood. They were taking this so seriously, I really just meant it as a joke. Suddenly i felt heat in my face as I became aware of my manipulation of them and I sat back down and shrunk behind my menu. My friend and I had to stifle our laughter as several people approached our table and gave us random comments about being patriotic and singing in church or something. It was after all incredibly funny, but it was the type of funny that comes with a little bit of caustic irony and that is something that people around here don't even comprehend. Occurences like these set off a bomb in my brain, because I am a person that is constructed around a weird paradox. On one hand I am quiet and polite. To a lot of people I seem like a quiet wall flower content to blend into the background. Then out of nowhere I bust out with these vivid, charismatic actions that upon second glance were lurking just beneath the surface the whole time. This paradox is a drowning one, because I believe if I could access more of this vividness on purpose then, my art, my life's work would flow so much more and there would be so much more immediacy and honesty in my work. Well, I am sure all of this sounds crazy, but show me an artist who isn't crazy and I'll show you someone who isn't really an artist.