Saturday, December 15, 2018

Giving the World a Holiday!

Every year, as I prepare for Portraits of White, I'm always amazed by the new theme that emerges. Certain song lyrics call out to me and say, "this is why you are doing the show".  This year the phrase is; "give the world a holiday that's bright as can be". That's what I plan to do with the concert this weekend. 

It's a crazy, busy world out there and as we get closer to Christmas we all long for a chance to take a deep breath to gear up for the day that is meant to bring joy. But for many people Christmas Day feels pretty empty and lonely. Many folks just "try to make it through" to the New Year. We plan to give folks the breather they are longing for with lots of great music, laughs and even lights, to brighten up the world here in South Central Pennsylvania.

Friday morning I went over to the venue early in the morning to go through the whole concert without all the other players, fancy lights and pretty dresses. I don't know how to turn on the lights in this big auditorium, so I figured I could just walk slowly and let my eyes adjust to the darkness.  I made my way to the platform, in the dark, down the center aisle, up the steep steps to the stage and shuffled across the stage (arms extended to buffer myself from objects) toward the grand piano hoping there weren't any mic stands or monitors that were repositioned after rehearsal the night before.

I made it safely to the piano and decided I'd practice the whole show from that stationary position. No need to be walking around in the dark more than necessary. I turned on the little stand lights at the piano and that was all I needed to get started with the show. I couldn't see a thing except for the piano keys and all the EXIT signs in the room. At least I know where the exits are, even if I can't see how to get to them.

The strangest thing happened though. The longer I played the piano and told my stories to the empty room, the more my eyes adjusted to the dark. In fact, I became so used to the dark that within twenty minutes or so, I could see the stage and felt confident enough to actually walk around. It's always good to take some time getting used to the layout of the stage where you're giving a concert. It's like familiarizing yourself with all the controls in a rental car. It makes the trip a lot more relaxing if you "know" where everything is. I went from shuffling around on stage to actually feeling quite comfortable and confident in the dark.

An hour or two into my rehearsal the facility manager arrived and asked if I wanted some lights on. I was so used to the dark that I declined. I kind of like the solitude and quiet before the BIG weekend. I don't know why a dark room feels more quiet, but it just does. 

As I stood on the stage looking out over the empty seats, I couldn't help but wonder how many times I've allowed myself to "get used to living in the dark" when it comes to some areas of my life. The things is, in the darkness, objects that could be useful to me actually pose as a threat because I don't bother to turn on the lights or allow someone else to turn the lights on for me. In fact, in the dark, everything can be dangerous. But if you sit there long enough, you'll get used to the dark and think it's normal.

I believe that we've created something special with Portraits of White—and I say "we" because there is a whole team behind this extravagant concert experience. People still say, "It's YOUR show"—meaning, do what YOU want, but there are so many people who have come alongside me to make this dream come true and so I no longer see it as "my show". We plan to really give the world a holiday that's bright as can be, especially for those who might have become accustomed to sitting in the dark.

For tickets to see Portraits of White, click HERE!