benchmarksblog

WHAT I LEARN FROM LIFTING & PLAYING

Month: August, 2017

A TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART

Four business men sat at the piano bar and drunk talked through my entire first set.

One of them even slurred, “This is just like the all inclusive cruise I went on! Except that piano player was more interactive.”

So when it came time to decide where to go for dinner, because they wanted to “see more of Detroit”, it amused me greatly to overhear one of the men read out loud a yelp review describing the other restaurant where I play.

Seduced by the words ” … with a focus on classic Detroit architecture and American dining accompanied by the talented piano player”, the guys call for a reservation and then, an uber.

Every now and then I fall apart.

But there’s absolutely something that can be done for a total eclipse of the heart.

Be present.

Be mindful.

And count your blessings.

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THE BEST LAID PLANS

It was very flattering when a young bartender asked me to write him a lifting program.

 

And because I genuinely wanted to share the joys of weight training with him, I did.

 

He was excited.

 

Until another server, a power lifter friend and my fellow workout buddy, commented that he would have written it quite differently.

 

Seeing the look on the bartender’s face, I remembered when I was just beginning to be interested in the sport of bodybuilding and completely intimidated by the huge amount of conflicting information available.

 

So I did the kindest thing possible that I have learnt from experience.

 

I told the bartender that there are many plans that can be made and followed, but picking one, not necessarily mine, and sticking with it for three months, would allow him to understand how to better continue his development in the years ahead.

 

The power lifter conceded to that and in an act of truce, told me to show the bartender my competition stage pictures, to prove that I knew what I was talking about.

OPERA BUFFO

“Do you even speak English?”

 

After telling the elderly gentleman that I do, he speaks even more slowly, so that I will understand.

 

“Here’s ten bucks. Why don’t you cool it for a while. Like stop playing. We can’t hear ourselves talking over the piano.”

 

I smile and nod, but continue with the job I am actually paid to do.

 

It takes two managers to assure the table of 6 seniors, the farthest one in the dining room from the piano, that I am playing as softly as possible for the pleasure of all the guests, that I am playing acoustically, and that the speakers next to the piano are not even turned on.

 

One of the managers then suggests that perhaps the table would enjoy their dining experience more if they made some music requests.

 

He comes back to me with the deepest exasperation.

 

They want The Phantom of the Opera.

 

So I play a 25-minute selection from the entire score.

 

After which, the table asks to be reseated in another part of the restaurant, perhaps in the bar area, where it will be more quiet.

 

One of my favorites exchanges from Phantom is when Carlotta, the reigning prima donna of the Paris Opera House hisses “your part is silent little toad,” to Christine, rising ingénue.

 

Carlotta looses her voice minutes after that.

 

I didn’t loose or even raise my voice that night, but I am learning that keeping my silence is sometimes the best act of self-preservation.

KNOT FAMOUS

With information for everything from caters to florists to officiants to stationers, and of course musicians, the wedding website The Knot is a major resource that most brides will use to plan their big day.

 

So it was nice to get a lovely review on this platform.

 

I am described as “… talented, fun, flexible with song selection, and very, very kind.”

 

When they read this, many of my co-workers and close friends laughed.

 

“Who is this person that is very, very kind,” they inquired.

 

I know they are only half joking.

 

But I would still hate to know exactly what it is that I’m famous for.