First of all, Happy New Year everyone. I hope that 2013 brings us all health, happiness and prosperity. My resolution is to spend more quality time with the people I love and that love me. Most importantly my lovely wife Jacki, without whom I’d likely be one miserable SOB. I was fortunately able to spend some good quality time with my Mom, sister, niece, good friends and my Grandfather recently. They all live relatively close together near Nashville, TN so it’s easy to see them all at once. My time with my Grandfather was especially poignant being that he is nearly 96 years old. We’re all lucky to still have him in our world.
Grandpa and I had a few good long talks about various subjects so I had a lot of things to ponder as I left his house and that brings me to the subject of this blog. One of the most important things my Grandfather instilled in me from a very young age was a solid work ethic. His feeling was that if you were hired to do a job, do it to the best of your ability, no matter what. I can be described as many things but one of them would never be that I’m lazy or don’t work the best that I can. I learned long ago that the rewards for hard work are not easily earned but are that much more fulfilling. I’m becoming very concerned that many in the younger generation don’t feel the same way. I see many examples of the “me” generation on a daily basis. Kids nowadays seem to feel entitled to everything without having to work for anything. I’ve seen that lead to a lot of dysfunction. I can only hope that at some point our youth will see the light and focus a bit more on their own behavior and build up their own values and ethics. It’s become apparent at more than a few recent shows with Cee Lo that many haven’t learned the lesson of hard work and humility yet. In some ways that’s a good thing for me since I’ve had to learn a lot of new skills to make up for a lack of good support and/or assistance at our shows. The way I see it the more I learn the more I earn.
Another good lesson learned not only from my Grandfather but my Dad as well was to always take time to enjoy the little things in life. I think that many, if not all engineers (and other folks in the music biz) do what we do as a labor of love and that most of the time it doesn’t even really feel like work. I for one look forward to almost every aspect of putting on a show. Yeah, early morning load-ins and late load-outs do suck but if you’re like me and during the show you get goosebumps from a particular song, that makes it all worth it and the day’s frustrations vanish. Even things as simple and mundane as making a stage plot or rider can be fun if you look at it from the right point of view. A little humor goes a long way towards making what would normally be a boring task into something at least somewhat enjoyable.
We’re in the business of providing entertainment and to me that translates to providing happiness and excitement. I get the hugest kick out of seeing people dance and sing along at the shows I mix and I’m sure that most of my colleagues feel the same way. So as we look to the future I think it’s always in good character to stay humble and focused on the job at hand. Our values make us unique and appreciated to those that employ us and the lessons we teach those that are willing to learn become our legacies.