What a rumpus it was!

May 25, 2012

Dear Wild Things & Patronopolis,

At this time one week ago, I was pulling tape off the floor at MCT, and leaning on the amazing Rumpus Band for yet another favor (um, can you help me load out the sound gear?). My feet hurt, my head was swimming, and I couldn’t have been happier.

Jordan, John and Josh - Rumpus Band Extraordinaire!

I spent the night watching and accompanying some 60+ performers, ranging in age from 5 to ??, bringing it with more sincerity, joy and passion than the room could hardly hold. It was epic. It’s one thing to believe, as I do, that music is in all of us, that it’s meant to be shared, and that it is a major connective force among us humanoids. But to see and hear and feel that process happening ten feet away from me — wow.

We are so conditioned to think competitively about everything. Critically. We project it onto others, and even more often, and more harshly, heap it onto ourselves. In Wild Things Music, we’re creating a space where it’s more important to just start singing than to ask if we’re good enough. We side-step the question of if we can do it, and start doing it. Singing, shouting, playing, dancing, soloing, rumpusing.

The Wolf Pack (or those of them who could make it to the Rumpus)

Many brave people have experimented with this philosophy in Wild Things Music programs over the last year. To see so many of them all together was pretty magical. I felt like I was watching people unfurl, or, as the F.R.O.G.S. sang in the Sahara Smith song “The Real Thing,” shake themselves loose. And we were doing it together, in support of one another, with silliness and sass and sweetness. What an honor to witness!

some of the Fledglings

Several people have remarked to me that they saw almost the exact same expressions on the faces of the F.R.O.G.S., the Wolves, the Coyotes and the Fledglings. Everyone is 5, and 15, and 50. Everyone’s scared, and thrilled, to find themselves under the lights, behind the microphone. Everyone secretly knows they’ve got it, and is secretly scared they don’t. (Or is that just me?) Seeing that common, sometimes shaky ground we’re all on generated big waves of love in me for all the performers, for my own flawed, fragile self, and for all of us weak and wonderful human beings.

Thank you, Wild Things. You gave us a Rumpus to remember.

Keep singing, now!


P.S. The Rumpus was so cool I decided it needed its own webpage. If you have photos from the night, please send them to me, and I’ll post as many as I can. (I couldn’t capture much while playing/mc’ing.)

Coyotes, F.R.O.G.S., Wolves and Fledglings to the stage, please!