Music Lessons

Jump With Both Feet

 

 

 

Ever remember going to the pool and dipping your toe into the water? Did you decide that the water was too cold for you?

 

-OR-

 

Did you just grit your teeth and jump?

 

 

 

 

Now let’s look at life. Do you just dabble in something new or that you want to do, or do you jump into it with both feet? Even worse, do you stand and watch from afar because you don’t want to get hurt (physically or emotionally)?

 

Where is your passion, your spirit of adventure?

 

Have you dipped your toes or just watched by the sidelines?

 

 

What is the worst thing that could happen? You don’t have the skills, endurance, or capacity to do something, but you tried. You learn that you like what you tried, but you won’t become competition level. Maybe you learn that you never wanted that, or just the opposite, that it is your passion and that you are good at it.

 

 

 

 

* * *

I was directing high school theater when technology was being introduced into schools. My students learned how to research on the internet before Google was a thing. One day, the district’s director of technology suggested that we use the newest computer system in the building to record the sound effects rather than rely on a live team of students to produce live sound effects.

 

Great. The student team could gather and record the sounds, but I would have fewer students and less chaos backstage during a performance. A high school director’s dream.

 

We wiped the computer clean of the sound effects in the files (or so we thought), and then, the students searched recordings (online – on records – on cassette tapes) and recorded live what they couldn’t find. Rehearsals with the recorded sounds went well. (I insisted that I be the one to run the computer for the show so that I would be able to train new students that became interested.)

 

Opening night of the “Murder Mystery Showcase” presented three one-act murder mysteries to audience members in our cafetorium. The first show went off without any problems. The sound effects were on cue without a hitch. (Breathe a sigh of relief.)

 

The crew changed the set in record time. There were no sound effects in the second play, so I sat back to watch.

 

The cast of the second one-act play took the stage, and the lights went up. The scene is set in the living room of a house where four senior citizen ladies live. One of the ladies lies on the living room couch, motionless.

 

Three “little old ladies” had phoned the young (hot) policeman who had moved into the house next door because they had found the fourth lady on the couch, dead.  Two of the ladies stood behind the couch and the third waited for the policeman at the door. She showed him in and he began to take their statements and inquire why they thought she was murdered, after all she was elderly and could have just passed away from natural causes.

 

“And how do you know she was murdered?” the policeman asked the three ladies.

 

It was a solemn moment before one of the ladies answered. “You see, Officer, we drew straws to see who would put the arsenic into the tea.”

 

At that moment, the computer sprung to life. “Hallelujah. Hallelujah.” it played (from the Hallelujah Chorus in Handel’s “Messiah”). The body on the sofa began to shake. “Hallelujah” it played over and over. The actors’ laughter became evident.

 

I looked at the Director of Technology and he looked at me. I shrugged my shoulders as did he. He made no effort to rescue me or the cast, so I did what any other considerate director would do. Since the computer was frozen and the mouse unresponsive, I moved to the next, most logical solution. I yanked the power cord for the computer out of the outlet. The Director of Technology looked stunned. I had done the un-thinkable by pulling the cord before shutting down.

 

The cast regained their composure as did the crew and the audience, and the show finished to a standing ovation for making it through.

* * *

Why do I tell you this story?

 

Because even though I was unsure of technology, I jumped into using it feet first. I jumped into a potentially show-stopping risk with both feet.

 

In today’s song, I don’t think Garth Brooks is just talking about risking it all for a relationship; I think it includes living life to its fullest – pursuing interests even though there is risk – trying life without worrying about failing, because if you do fail, all you have to do is pick yourself up and start again.

“Standing Outside the Fire” Lyrics

 

The original link for this music video has been pulled from the internet due to a copyright claim by Pearl Records, Inc. This version is blurry but I used it because it sends such an important message.

https://youtu.be/SIDaJZnNh0w

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