I had the pleasure of opening the night at the Children portion of the Southside Film Festival at Godfrey’s tonight. Red carpet, popcorn and the whole deal. The SSFF is a wonderful community arts event, a multi-venue and and multi-day celebration of independent films. And it happens right here on my side of town.
I was asked to open the night with a set of music, as kids and parents gathered. I invited the kids up on the carpet squares in front and they came on up. It was a mix of my familiar songs and the kids sang along and danced, parents got the humor and we had a good time.
One special moment came during Giants when I invited two young Asian brothers up to play the Thunder Tubes. They were wonderfully engaged and, when I asked them to take a bow at the end, they provided some great theater. The older one bowed, but the younger one didn’t know how. Seeing how they had their arms around each other, it was a comic and yet wonderful fraternal moment.
During that song, as I was doing my vocal trombone break, I notice a three year old to my right miming the sound with his hands up to his face, facing the audience and in complete confidence in what he was doing. I said, ‘Take it!’ and he did. The audience watched in amazement and joy. The place exploded afterwards. I take pride in my ability to take these moments, step back, acknowledge the moment and become part of the audience. The separation between the artist and the audience disappears. Here’s where my craft excels.
I also had the privilege to play for Claire F. Martin, daughter of C. F. Martin IV, now ten years old. Chris Martin has told me that my Peanut Butter CD is one of her favorites and she was right up front singing The Cat Came Back full voice. The Martin family and Company have been wonderful supporters of my efforts in this community, from their grants for Godfreys, to strings, to guitars and to very personal issues, as well. These continue to be very wonderful touchstones for me in my life and community.
A good night. Interestingly, I traveled downstairs for this gig ($200) and, tomorrow, I head up to CT for a farmers’ market ($100), a round trip of 400 miles. Strange how this rolls.