One of the things that I think we lose sight of in a culture that is more and more driven by technology, along with instant gratification and instant communication, is that we become disconnected in a more hands on, tangible, face to face way. Perhaps face-to-face is simply being redefined in terms of wall-to-wall via social networking sites like Facebook or through mac to pc chatting and the growing number of variations on these tools.
These forms of communication are wonderful support tools for connecting and communicating. But they often allow you to turn off or shut down when you need to communicate the most. And they can sometimes take you away from that indescribable wow that can only be sparked face to face.
Face To Face, Heart To Heart
Think of the difference between watching a concert on TV and attending one live. Think of the difference between going to a concert in a huge open venue versus a more intimate venue like a small theatre or coffee house.
That often missing element that is vital to your growth and survival as a singer, musician, artist, and person is that face-to-face, heart-to-heart small group or one-on-one hang time.
For years I have kicked around a concept that engages the artist community as the ultimate circle of connection. I’m going to share this concept with the hope that you take it to heart, make it your own, and connect with others to create meetings, events, performances – whatever you wish – that share your voice and encourage others to share theirs while reminding everyone that we’re all in this together or collectively one-to-one alone.
Share Your Play Space
As a playwright, actor, and director I love to tell stories. The stage or the camera provide a magical playground where you go anywhere you want to, be anyone or anything you desire, and communicate some passion, emotion, frustration, idea – whatever in order to connect.
As a songwriter and spoken word poet I love to make those same connections through stories or special memories, ranting and raving – whatever it is that I want to kick out of my heart and soul to stir another. This same desire to connect speaks through photos I take, pictures I paint, and other odd forms of art I fumble my way through sometimes.
The Power Center Is You
What I would love for each of you to do is hook up with other singers, songwriters, poets, actors, painters, sculptors, all kinds of artists and craftspeople and put together community circle-of-connection events. These events could benefit a cause or increase its awareness and can even let that cause or issue be the theme that anchors your event.
You could have a singer-songwriter in the round as your anchor for the evening with transitions between provided by storytellers, actors doing short scenes or monologues, singers doing solos, dance or movement, or painters/sculptors displaying pieces with an acoustic music underscore.
My hope is that each of these circle-of-connection events then travels locally to other neighborhoods or even plays regionally to remind people of our diversity and our shared connection in the heart, mind, and spirit. Spaces in the circle can even be left open and filled by those from other neighborhoods or communities you visit. This further reinforces a sense of being connected as others become a part of your circle.
A Call To Connect
As a singer your unique human voice is a cry to something higher, a call for something deeper. It is an open invitation to engage, connect, share, explore, inspire, encourage. So get together with people you care about, people you’ve heard of and want to get to know, and build a creative circle of connection to help shore up the human community and celebrate life. And never lose sight of the source of joy and love that drives your greater good.
There is so much we all fight through that can isolate, distract, take us out of our game, or interfere with all we’re born to be and give as singers, artists, and as friends and neighbors. Hey, if nothing else a circle of connection venture is a great way to work through tough times while strengthening your voice, finding a potential fan base, sharing gifts, and making a couple lifelong friends along the way.