Why I'm Afraid to Share Profound Ideas as an Artist
"Music can bend time." -- John Mayer, Instagram LIVE broadcast on 10/27/2017 from Rio
JOHN MAYER GOES LIVE ON INSTAGRAM
I'm curled up in my papasan chair, decompressing from a photo shoot, posting a video on Instagram of myself performing in front of mural #2 (Yesler/14th) and the notification "John Mayer just went LIVE" pops up. So I click and instantly I'm in Brazil, watching my favorite musician walk out onto the street to greet his fans and take selfies. One fan says, "I've been a fan of yours for 1 year and I feel like I missed out on all the music you created in your 20s and early 30s. I long to be a fan during that time in your life." John replies with, "You have the music. That is my 20's and 30's, the best parts of it, everything else just slipped away. I long for the past all the time and I travel back through the music. Music can bend time." (paraphrased).
AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO HEARS HIM?
My fingers typed furiously on my phone to quote him and leave the quote in the rapidly flowing list of comments. I saw my comment zoom up alongside all the "I love you John" and "John, you're amazing!" comments. There were 6000 people watching his LIVE feed and did nobody else feel inspired by his words enough to quote him, to engage with him on an artist's level? All they want to do is throw praise at him. Praise isn't what we artists long for. Maybe at first we do but after awhile we know we're good. The compliments are pretty but not nourishing. What we long for is conversation, engagement, for people to speak our language and exchanges beautiful ideas back and forth so we can feel seen, feel like we're sharing life experiences with other people (and we're not just freaky artists that nobody else understands). Stop kissing ass and start meeting each other to inspire and co-create. If I say something profound and beautiful, don't tell me I'm amazing. Instead, tell me what you think about what I just said...what's your perspective? Expand, extrapolate, build upon my idea! Keep the conversation growing so we all leave with fresh inspiration, discovering something new!
AFRAID OF PEOPLE JUDGING ME FOR BEING PROFOUND
John Mayer has been my favorite musician since I was 12 and I appreciate his music, his attitude and mostly his worldview as an artist...the fact he thinks things like this and says them with confidence. These are the kinds of thoughts I have had my entire life (maybe because I was so influenced by people like John Mayer) but for so long I hid these idea and didn't want anyone to know that I thought this way. I was afraid of being teased, being ostracized for thinking difference or appearing weird to people who don't think like me. I've gotten bolder by forcing myself to say thoughts right away when they pop into my head, by taking all the Post-It notes that have my secret ideas scribbled on them and taping them to the walls of my music room so people who walk in can read them freely (this was really uncomfortable at first), and copying and pasting quotes from my journal into my Instagram captions for all to see. When people like John Mayer stand tall and share their ideas they never sound dumb to me...they sound profound. I've hidden my profound thoughts because I was afraid someone would judge me and say, "Jeez...stop trying to be profound."
OWNING MY SHIT
It's taken my 29 years but better late than never to start owning my shit and accepting the fact that yes, I am an artist and I do have many profound things to share. I mean, I jolly well better have profound things to say because all I fucking do is think and overthink and write and analysis and observe and think some more about the meaning of life and how to live. If after 29 years of contemplation, obsessive writing and learning big fancy words (yes, I carried a dictionary around as a child and memorized new words on the playground instead of playing games with the other kids) I didn't have anything wise or profound to say I would be horrified! lol
MUSIC CAN BEND TIME
Thank you John Mayer for once again leading the way as an artist, giving the rest of us permission to speak out minds and express our hearts. And yes I agree..music can bend time! It can stir up the feelings that have long ago settled at the bottom of our souls, it can carry us into the future on invisible visionary wings, and it can snap us back to the present to feel alive with all our senses. // Cha
and for everyone's viewing pleasure...some photos from the Halloween rave in Seattle (aka FREAKNIGHT) which happened hours after my John Mayer LIVE experience -- Davey was Lucifer and I was a sinful apple...bite me ;P x