“Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get,
they’re things which get you.
And all you can do is to go where they can find you.”
Winnie the Pooh via A.A. Milne
You thought this was going to be about tackling the audition to-do list, didn’t you? Notice I didn’t say “Getting Ready,” but rather “Being Ready.”
I am goal-oriented and activity-driven, and I live by my lists. They are my talismans against the unpredictability of the world. And I’ll bet that many of you (especially if you’re compulsive enough to follow industry blogs like this one…) suffer the same afflictions.
There’s nothing wrong with that; actually there’s a lot right with it. But most of us could use some practice at just being. That’s where much of the real work gets done, and Pooh’s Poetry and Hums will not find you unless you put yourself there.
It’s different for everyone, so this is your assignment for the day: Where (physically, mentally, and emotionally) are you when the essence of music calls to you? The place where it is unencumbered by the business, the technique, the baggage? Find a way to put yourself there for a few minutes every day. Sure, there is work to be done, but you can find a few moments that you would otherwise sacrifice to far less important things.
“I used to think of Sisyphus as the patron saint of the workaholic….
Until recently, I’d overlooked the true instruction of Sisyphus’ life,
which is that each time his grindstone rolls to the bottom of the mountain,
he is granted a rest while he walks back down to retrieve it.
Though he must work for all time, he doesn’t work all the time.”
from Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life by Gregg Michael Levoy
Push that boulder up that hill, but don’t ignore those precious few minutes while it rolls back down. That’s when you become yourself, and that’s where you will find those things that your audiences will want to share with you.
“If ya ain’t got it in ya, ya can’t blow it out.”