I am so excited to be making this second post this week after my welcome post. I was planning to do a lot more, but you know, things happen and you put things off. So today I feel ready to start talking about some very interesting things going on in my life (which will be the center of this Blog.) I am a piano player, I sing, I dance and at the same time, I try to live a balanced life. Is that too much?
Let me backup a little bit…
You are probably thinking “he is the gifted-talented type of guy” and I assure you that maybe 20% of it is talent. The other 80% is all love for the arts. I started out being a piano player at age 9. My older brothers had already started learning to play some instruments (accordion, church organ, guitar) and being a younger brother, I guess I was kind of jealous. But I was also told about this gift I had, to pickup any melody I listened to on the radio, and play it on the piano. For me this came all natural and I had a great time doing that. But I guess I can now admit that talent played some kind of role in what I am today. Considering the gift I had, on the other hand I was very lazy! Man was I lazy. After I decided to start taking piano lessons (classical music) and wasn’t being allowed to play along to “We didn’t start the fire” anymore, I felt depressed. My mother would chase me around the house with a large wooden cooking spoon, to get my rear on that piano stool and practice the concert pieces that were due. Those were some pretty awesome years. I believe my mother aged greatly back then. She does look younger today I must say.
As you probably have guessed by now, singing came in second, while I was still taking piano lessons (I never stopped the piano lessons.) My singing experience started when I was invited through the conservatory I was studying at to join the choir. Probably a few of the most boring years of my life. I remember some very old classical tunes that were in German (because of the composers writing in that language back then) and me trying to sing along, not understanding a word of what I was saying. We had a very strict maestro too! He would smack anyone for making a musical mistake. Even the more “professional” members. But I knew that I couldn’t stay there for very long. The atmosphere was very weird for me, and I didn’t enjoy myself that much. So I switched over to another choir that would perform locally in my city. This was a young children’s choir as part of a much larger choir organization lead and managed by two talented musicians from Bulgaria. Our maestro was very good with children: strict, but good. In our singing, we would insert some very fun hand and leg moves that would make the song much more interactive with the audience. As the years went on, we were blessed to win large choir competitions within the US and abroad. At some point it become more competitive with the constant music-festival performances, but all in all it was fun.
Lastly my dancing journey began, and at this point, I was still taking piano lessons and participating in that same choir I mentioned before. I started learning tango and all those types of dancing styles. This “club” I joined was the only one that I really needed to go through an application process. It was extremely competitive because the club had reached a semi professional level, looking to participate in large events and professional competitions. My background in music and singing, really improved my odds. Most people had some art experience, and mostly were tested to see if they had a “gift.” I jumped way ahead of the list because they saw how passionate I was about everything I got involved in. I didn’t really just walk in their front door just like that. I had to also be tested for “the gift.” It was much easier though to satisfy the judges, because they were biased (in a good sense.) I also had some kind of natural talent. So as soon I started trying to perform in that tango, I was immediately accepted to the club. Things got much harder though after that: getting into the club was one thing, but surviving in it and thriving was a whole other beast of its own. Competition levels were so fierce that we had some very “bellow the belt” kind of incidents happening once in a while. Fellow dancers would try to get ahead of the pack, by applying very cruel and non moral behaviors. Bullying was a big issue for the “weaker” members. But stabbing other people’s backs was the ultimate disaster and wrong doing. You couldn’t really develop any friendships, simply because you couldn’t trust anyone besides yourself. Not even the mentors and people in charge of the club were always honest with everyone. But we had to put up with it, to achieve what was being promised on the other side of the pond.
You probably noticed that I talked a lot more about my dancing journey. That is of course, because of the weird things that were going on (and which I am planning to talk about in upcoming posts.)
For now, I’m wrapping this post up, leaving you with my all favorite “We didn’t start the fire” tune. Bye!