SOL March Challenge #5
We went to a concert the other night. We go to many, many concerts. Probably a couple dozen per year. We enjoy the concerts a lot, but the big finish of the night is usually a few after show “meet and greet” tickets. We meet singers, actors, writers, athletes….you name it – if they’re famous, or semi-famous in any way – we meet them! Some call this thing my friend Kathy has a hobby, other, more in-touch people, call it an obsession. There have been times when the person we’re asking to sign a napkin or a tattered post-it from the purse or a menu that was literally pulled from it’s binding or the top pulled off of a Wheat Thins box, says to us, “You want my autograph? Really? I’m a nobody!” Kathy will reply, “Oh, but you’re going to be famous one day, I’m sure of it!” They say this because they may be our waitress who is trying to make it big in the acting scene, or they just came off of a play that was held in the town civic center. No matter. What they don’t know is that they are sometimes more exciting for Kathy to score than the “real, famous people” because of their potential. In the 1990’s Kathy told me a band called “Wilco” was going to be signing autographs that weekend. My response, “Oh they’re not worth the trip. They’re just a local Chicago band.” Anyone who knows anything about this band knows I was dead wrong. I never say that anymore.
Back to the “meet and greets.” We have our list of standard comments we give to the singer/actor/writer/athlete when we meet them.; “You were great!”, “We love your voice!”, “Best concert we’ve ever been to!” “How do you remember all those lines?” yadda, yadda, yadda. They are usually very grateful, they smile, they sign the autograph and then move on to the next big fan. We don’t mind moving through the line quickly because we are only there to collect the autograph.
At this particular concert we attended the other night we were moving along according to plan and then suddenly, when we told the drummer of 10,000 Maniacs that we have always loved them and the concert was fantastic, his reply to us caused us to pause and stumble a bit. He said, “You loved it? Great! What was your favorite part?!” Whoa! We’ve never been asked that before. Never. It’s not that we didn’t have a favorite part, it’s just that we were momentarily stunned and speechless.
I kept thinking about this the rest of the weekend after the concert. It really struck me. This musician wanted feedback! He was no different from any other human being on the entire planet!! Huh! It made me love this band even more. They didn’t force us to go on that conveyor belt of accolades and love bestowed upon “the band.” No. This was important to them and they were genuinely interested receiving feedback from their fans. Much like a student looks for feedback from his teacher. Like an employee seeks feedback from her boss. Like a child searches for feedback from her parent. Like a friend asks for feedback from their friend. Impressive.
From now on I will always watch a performance closely for at least one big highlight that I can share as feedback when we meet and greet. I guess these performers are real people, just like you and me, who are always looking for ways to get better at their craft. Who knew?