Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Opportunities

A few months ago, I went to a church picnic. I was still trying to find the right church for me and was checking out different churches around town. Another Sunday rolled around and I went to this new church. New to me anyways, they happened to be celebrating their 128th anniversary that day. I heard there was free food at the celebration and I NEVER pass up free food so away I go to join in the party. They have this little information booth where you can enter a free raffle for a iPod or something (it seems like all raffles these days are for iPods). I start talking to the guy running the raffle and tell him I'm new to the area and am interested in joining this church. I ask him what kind of programs they have here and he directs me to Maggie, the choir director. I hadn't told the raffle guy that I was a musician, but this is the person he introduces me to. She asks me if I'm musical. I say, "Well yes, I'm a percussionist." At this point she starts screaming and hugging me and jumping up and down in circles. (Not exactly the reaction I was expecting.) It turns out the church owns a pair of timpani and they've been looking for a timpanist for almost two years. In that instant, I became a member of the church, a member of the choir, and their own personal timpanist.
So I bust out my practice pad and start going to choir rehearsals. During my second or third rehearsal, a fellow alto tells me that our pianist is a composer. But not just any composer, he was absent from rehearsal that night because he was rehearsing his new musical at one of Denver's most prominent performing arts theaters. So I build up some courage and catch him after one of our rehearsals. I start with, "I hear you're a composer." "Yeah." . . . Ok, now what? I'm totally fumbling the ball here. Just pick it up and run! "Uh, I kinda compose too sometimes..." Eventually I'm able to spit out that I would like him to look at my score and give me feedback. Of course he's a swell guy and is not nearly as nervous as I am and is happy to look at it.
Tonight I went to my favorite park to finish one of my favorite books: The Complete Guide to Film Scoring by Fred Davis. I read about three pages and suddenly, mixed in with the other joggers and dog walkers, there's this guy sitting on a park bench playing the congas. I start wondering if I should go talk to him. I mean, obviously he has his own congas so he's probably connected to some other musicians. Maybe he could be a connection. But seriously? You want to walk up to a stranger on a park bench and just strike up a conversation with him? Yeah, not really. But I decide that if he's still there by the time I finish my book, then I'll go talk to him. This was a favorable agreement. I had thirty pages left to my book and as my sister will tell you, I am a VERY slow reader. There was no way he would still be there. But once I get down to ten pages left I start counting down each page. Eight pages. He's still here? Six... Five... Oh my gosh he's still here. Three... Two... I give up. I read the last page, put my shoes back on and walk directly toward him.
"Having fun?" I ask. "Yeah, yeah" he replies with an accent that reminds me of the Jamaican Boblsed Team. I continue to shock myself by sitting on the bench next to him. I tell him I'm a percussionist too. He asks me where I play. I told him I'm not really playing right now (except for timpani in church) but that I'm actually working on becoming a composer. I hold up my book so he can see the front cover. His voice goes up an few octaves as he starts yelling "No way!" Again, not quite the reaction I was expecting. But, as before, there's a reason for the excitement. He's a film maker.

Every man is the architect of his own future. Go out and build yours.


  1. That is amazing! Annie, I'm so glad you are getting connected in Colorado! I love listening to you talk about music and how it brings out all your nerdiness and joy. I hope that never goes away.

    I'm so glad you found a church and that you have the nerve to talk to random strangers on park benches! Love you!

  2. wooooooooohoooooooo!!!!!!!! you, rock, miss annie! you are bold and brave and courageous and smart. and cute,too!

  3. Annie! That is so cool! You have to tell us what ends up happening! It's like the beginning to a really good movie :)

  4. cool thought katie. you never know where life might lead us :-)