benchmarksblog

WHAT I LEARN FROM LIFTING & PLAYING

Month: October, 2017

LOVE NEVER DIES

The highlight of my week is in a text:

 

“OK, so Andrew Lloyd Webber is coming this evening. And they would like you to play from 10:30 until 11:15ish.”

 

Cast and crew, invited guests and patrons of the Fisher Theatre, as well as Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and his team are celebrating the premier of the first North American tour of Love Never Dies in Detroit at the restaurant.

 

It’s a late night affair, so I spend my regular dinner service running though what I’ve affectionately referred to as The Andrew Lloyd Webber Spectacular Medley.

 

Containing music from Evita, Cats, Starlight Express, Aspects of Love, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard and Song & Dance, this medley nostalgically reminds me of my very first encounters with falling in love with musical theatre as a teenager.

 

I even quickly arrange a fanfare of the main themes from Love Never Dies to mark the entrance of a childhood hero, thinking that at the very least, he will be slightly amused.

 

But the minute he enters, it becomes very clear what my role for the evening has to be: the cocktail hour pianist at a fancy venue for an equally fancy meet and greet.

 

And as Andrew Lloyd Webber walks by me to the bar without even a nod of acknowledgment, my love for him dies just a little.

 

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SWEETEST DAY

Sweetest Day this year happened for me a day early.

 

I had been nursing a muscle strain on my right side hip area since Tuesday night.

 

And after a dedicated routine of foam rolling and self Myofascial massage over the next few days, I finally released most of the tension and pain.

 

But the sweetest thing was not in the relief, rather, the experience of knowing exactly what to do.

 

TWO WRONGS AND A RIGHT

Tuesdays are my cheat day and I always have sushi for dinner.

 

This week, a woman walked up to the bar next to me and asked, “Which of these rolls can be deep fried?”

 

And then, when my chef friend reluctantly offered her the cooked up California roll she ordered, the woman asked for a side of ranch to go with it.

 

My own deep fried sushi with a side of ranch showed up for work later in the week in the form of a man who would not stop asking for Benny and the Jets.

 

I don’t honor requests for certain piano bar classics in the restaurant because they just don’t feel appropriate for upscale dinner service.

 

And the nice way to avoid any further confrontation is to say, “We aren’t allowed to play certain types of music here.”

 

But he was highly inebriated, or idiotic, probably both, and wasn’t in the right state of mind to comprehend my shady subtext, so he kept asking.

 

Until another guest walked up, dropped a twenty in my jar, looked me in the eye, and said, “I’ve enjoyed your music all evening.”

 

Which simultaneously restored my faith in humanity and made the man who was bothering me sit back down at his table quietly for the rest of the evening.

 

 

CANDLE LIGHT DINNER

I booked a gig this week for the upcoming holiday season.

Even though I played at the Grosse Pointe Club last Christmas with my trio for the same event, I thought I only got the job because I had been friends with the events manager for years.

Now that he’s left that position (for better opportunities), it surprised me that I still got the call.

The new manager said the club members enjoyed the music and requested us again.

Which just reminds me to have a little more faith.

And that if I do, I will sparkle the brightest wherever I go, because that’s where I’m supposed to be.