18 July 2009

Feeling it and singing it -- at the same time?!

Today's dance class revelation: I truly don't know if I could be a rock star. They sing it every time as if they mean it, because they do, I realized. (There's that sincerity dictum I learned about from Daniel Levitin, the author of This Is Your Brain on Music -- that people who make great actors and rock stars understand something about being able to tap into sincere wellsprings of feeling to do what they do, and people can usually instantly recognize when they're faking it).

Today I felt all my emotions when we danced to the Michael Franti song about bringing our children home, pleading to stop their sacrifice in the name of war and commerce. I danced my greatest yearnings and deepest entreaties, in the spirit of a Quaker, with me plain, naked of soul, nothing interposed between me and that which I begged for mercy. I even had to go out of the hall and cry for a minute after that song, which is unusual. But after a minute I drank some water and went on with the dance.

That's the part of being a rock star that would be hard: feeling it and keeping it all moving forward when singing a song like "Time To Go Home" ("Don't take our boys away, no, don't take our girls away.... It's time to go home") or the end of Bonnie Raitt's "Louise" ("Well, everybody thought it kind of sad / When they found Louise in her room / They'd always put her down below their kind / Still some cried when she died this afternoon / Louise rode home on the mail train / Somewhere to the south I heard 'em say"). How do you feel it without succumbing to it?

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