The Arch of the Career In Music; Keep On Sliding!

There is so much before, between and beyond a show like "American Idol." I admit, it is entertaining, but people seem to accept at face value that if one is really talented, and gifted, he or she will get in!

I know personally, three specific cases, where an extremely talented individual did not even make it to first call backs. Thus, the whole thing felt, to them, like that was the end, at least until they collected their broken bits and put their self esteem back together.

Let's face it! It does take a lot of confidence, or at least drive to continue on a path, after having less than encouragement, or even approval of the powers that be. But we're talking about rejection here.

Now in our culture, it's the "American Idols" and the "Dancing With the Stars" and the TV recognition that represents those "powers." This leaves talented youth feeling as if there is a starting line and a finish line with little road work in between. If you don't "make it", there's nothing else! Our adults believe this too.

What many people don't realize is that there can be satisfaction & reward in the very "doing" of a job, if it's a job you love. Even if it's road work! And road work is what makes a talent refined and strong.

What we need to learn as a culture is how to "enjoy"... I didn't say "indulge," or the opposite, to "deny" all pleasure. I mean to truly enjoy being who we are, inside and out... to like ourselves and our own talents.

If each of us has talent, then we should express it. Where, did you say? On TV, you said? Talent ceases to exist outside the "box?"If you are not in front of millions of viewers, it doesn't count?

I think after finding out a bit more about the emptiness our Michael Jackson, and our Anna Nicole and our Marilyn and Elvis faced, we can wise up and realize that what they needed was what we all do, which is to be joyful and celebrate the small moments and personal victories in our days.

They are the same days with the same length that our "stars" live out, but we get to live them in freedom, and without the agony of fearing that they will be taken from us one paparazzi photo at a time.

So then, where can we learn to express our talents? And is it true that there should be a time limit on this expression of talent? Are
we to listen to the rules of the game set down by the powers that be?

I have a friend that is 82 years old, (although his presence belies his years) and is still writing, recording and producing music, not to mention performing it in clubs and concert venues. He has played with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, Barbera Streisand, Madonna and on from there... Why does he keep going if you or your friend don't know who he is?

Well alright! I'll tell you... The "gold" to him is not at the end of the elusive rainbow, but smack in the middle of it, sliding right down the arch of it! Making music with his friends, challenging himself to do more each time... sounds like joy to me! I do know that whatever it is he's got, I want that and lots of it!

I want to use every ounce of my talents and leave no scrap left over. If no one gives me "permission" I'll do it anyway...What do you think you will do?

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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.

I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.

My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

Buster Williams

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