January 15th, 2007


Flying Solo

Started thinking about how I am about being a soloist. Since grade school I have been a soloist of one kind or another, and have run screaming from same, depending on what the solo involved.

I have no qualms about standing in front of 5,000 people as an announcer, MC, or singer. I've done all those things a few times and it's no problem. But give me an instrument to play and I would much rather let someone else play the solo. I'll gladly play 4th French Horn, 3rd Trumpet, or be one of a squad of 8 Baritone Horns in the marching band. I've had baritone horn solos, but I'm always sure I'll not play perfectly. I was the only trumpet player in a theater orchestra for Guys And Dolls, and felt seriously uncomfortable and self-conscious. On the other hand, I had no problem playing drums for another musical as part of a 4-piece band. And I don't even play drums. I once sat down at a grand piano in the lobby of a Tel Aviv hotel and played by ear for about an hour. The manager offered me a job. He must not have been listening too closely, I don't play well, never had lessons, can't read piano music - well, not fast enough to play from it in real time. But I don't have any difficulty playing in public.

As for work, I've never wanted to be a soloist and run my own business. I've been a photographer, writer and editor, but never on my own, always with a newspaper. While I was a soloist of sorts because my name was on my work, it was under the umbrella, behind the force field of an established publication. And moving on to electronics, I've always worked for someone else, and usually as part of a group of people who did the same job. True, right now I'm a contractor, but that's more of a technical detail. I function as a part of a team in a large section of a huge company.

Collapse )

In the Peace Corps I was a soloist, in the sense that I was the only American in my department. But I was also one of thousands of US volunteers world-wide, so not as on my own as some people I met over there. And I won't go back as a free-lancer, as much as I would like to. It's just Not Me™.

Enough rambling. Time to answer email from my long lost cousin (actually, I am the lost one, he's been here in Mountain View all along, I just never told him I came back from Seattle - 7 years ago).

  • Current Music
    Best of Budokan (Thai)