Do you have what it takes to be an audience member?
Have you ever thought about just how hard it is to get up on a stage, stand in front of a group of strangers, and tell a story? And not just any story, but one’s own story?
KadmusArts features established, as well as up-and-coming festival artists everyday. We highlight a wide array of artists, including those whose work is devoted to building peace, who try to capture the spirit of ancient culture, and who overcome incredible obstacles to create, to name just three examples.
Last night, I caught the performance of one of the thousands of artists who has been featured on KadmusArts.com, Howard Fishman. You can hear one of Fishman’s great songs as the accompaniment to our 2009 Festival Year in Review video. Fishman has just released three new albums at the same time: one inspired by his time in New Orleans; one by his time in Romania; and one by that old muse of all perfect poetry, love.
In addition to a startling combination of wisdom and innocence in his writing, he has a purity of performance. There is a direct connection between the audience and the stage. His band gives you the feeling that it would be the same spirit whether performed in a small club or in a large arena. They are that good. So, too, was the audience.
Good art happens when an artist is not only willing to tell you their story, but when an audience is willing to listen. Think about how hard it is to have the courage, determination and creativity to be an artist. The easiest thing to give back to an artist is respect, a willingness to see, hear, and feel what they have to offer.
We seem to be living in a world where giving others their due might be slipping away. Common courtesy can go a long way to helping make someone’s world a bit better. Being willing to respect others can go even farther to making everyone’s world a bit better. You don’t have to like all art, but there is value in giving some respect to all artists, at the very least for what they are trying to accomplish. Not all artists will — or should — succeed. But, there is something genuinely noble in the attempt. After all, there are still too many places in the world where an artist is not allowed to sing, tell, or show their story.
On a cold night, a group gathers in a basement to share someone’s story, hear some music, and maybe even capture a little enlightenment. That’s not such a bad way to spend a few hours.
From the audience to the artist, give a little respect and you might get back a whole lot more. So, what festival are you going to this week?
- Bill Reichblum