Wednesday, May 19, 2010

v2, d71: Really, I just wanna rock

You know what's kind of sad/kind of funny/kind of awesome? Here I am, a moderately successful director/playwright in his late-twenties, aspiring writer of fictions, husband and father, a guy who seems to have a lot of stuff going in the right direction. And yet, there's this part of me that really wishes I could just be in a rock band. I like my job, I like my friends, I love writing and language and plays and children's theatre, but sometimes, I just want to play rock music on some drums for an hour and a half or so and have people dance and jump around and go crazy and have an incredible time just enjoying the music.

In case you're wondering what brought this on, I was just watching some youtube clips of Bat Boy: The Musical--what's that? Original cast performance of Three-Bedroom House? You're welcome--and realizing that my time playing with the band for that show last fall was probably one of the top five most enjoyable experiences I've had working on a show in the past five years. Also, I've just finished Rob Sheffield's great book, Love is a Mix Tape, which is at times essentially a love letter to rock and roll.

Anyway, I miss being a musician. I know I'm not a great musician, but that's one thing I love about music: you don't have to be that good at it to do it. And it doesn't necessarily have to be that good to be enjoyable. Play us a song, please, and make it fast, make it loud, and make it about three minutes long. We'll never know what hit us, and we'll have a dang good time. That's harder to say about a novel. An un-good novel, or even an un-good movie or play, is quite a bit more of an investment than an un-good song. You start to count the hours of life that you'll never get back. And you can't dance to a book, no matter how good it is.

Further, if you've got a good rock and roll crowd, you'll rarely witness a greater display of community and celebration than you will at a rock show. We just wanna rock, we just wanna have fun. If we wanted to criticize, we'd have stayed home and listened to the LP. For tonight, we're just here to rock and roll. All you gotta do is play a song, and boom. Instant party.

Now, don't get me wrong: given the choice, I'd still prefer the sizzle of a theatre on a show night, or the buzz of a group of kids filing in to their seats, ready to have an adventure. But there are some days--and they're becoming more and more frequent lately--where I'd kinda like to chuck some of that responsibility out the window and just rock out for a couple of hours.