Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I felt mean, and not a good mien...

I got up early today, and I spent four hours in the car. Then I went to rehearsal. Then off to a midterm exam. I was beaten down. While walking in the halls, I could actually feel myself compacting. I'm sure I ended up being about 5 inches shorter, just because I felt heavy. I couldn't be bothered to stretch my back and walk in my ordinary mien.

But the day turned around. I had a tasty meal, watching the rain pour down. Very relaxing. I played around on a new trombone (new to me) for a bit. Also relaxing, but only because I was practicing without a specific goal.

Then, even though the sun had set and the clouds were thick, I got encircled by a ray of sunshine. Never underestimate the positive effects of a little contact when you're down and out.

*** *** ***

I can tell that I'm one of the elder statesmen in these musical ensembles. By the way, "elder statesman" is a nice way of saying I've been doing this for a while. The reason I know that I'm getting experienced is that I don't feel intimidated into not making jokes during rehearsal. I'm not talking all the time, and I'm certainly not talking about being totally obnoxious. But every now and then, something the director says will suggest.....nay, DEMAND a joke.

But I feel hesitation from the ensemble. I felt it today; a brief pause while people decided if the director would laugh, too. Then they nervously laugh, as though thinking it's funny, but also not sure if they SHOULD laugh. I had the impression that they were waiting for the baton to cue the laughing, so that they could feel strength in numbers.

Or maybe it's that the room is already tense, and people aren't sure if humor is appropriate. Or maybe it's just that it wasn't that funny, but I refuse to accept that answer. I try to stay away from jokes that might be on the edge of funny / not funny.

But rest asured, if something funny feels like it needs to be said.......I'm probably going to say it.

Unless I'm already asleep from counting rests.


  1. You actually count rests? Wow, you are old school! I thought you were supposed to look at the percussionists to find out what rehearsal letter you're at.

  2. Personally, I always watch the clarinets...

  3. As long as you're not the guy who makes the joke, and then guffaws uproariously to the stunned silence of the rest of the ensemble.

    That's just not okay.