Happy Tuesday! Now, who’s ready for 5:00pm?
Yep, that’s what I thought.
It is no secret that the Sybaritic Singer loves NPR. With all those lessons and rehearsals that require drive-time there is nothing quite like listening to the audio-stylings of Terry Gross, Steve Inskeep, and especially Ira Glass on This American Life. The other day I caught this interview between Kai Ryssdal and funny-man Patton Oswalt discussing the importance of lunar professions.
RYSSDAL: And you’ll take this with the spirit in which it’s intended. You rolled out of bed, what, like 25 minutes ago?
OSWALT: Uh, 17 minutes ago.
RYSSDAL: You’ve got a cup of coffee going. You haven’t shaved in a day or two.
OSWALT: I have not.
RYSSDAL: And yet you are a well-established name in your industry. Isn’t that kind of cool?
OSWALT: It is kind of cool. I mean, I think that it’s because I really embrace the fact that I’m in the lunar professions and not the solar.
RYSSDAL: You work at night, not during the day.
OSWALT: I work at night, yeah. And the night people, at this time of morning, look at you, you’ve got… All right, now let me just describe Kai here for a second, sitting across from me. He has a crisp, white shirt on. And I need to stress — crisp.
I’m amazed you’re not hearing that rustle in the mic. You know, when you watch old “Columbo” episodes and they mic the shirts and you hear that rustle?
He is clean-shaven, he’s got an awesome haircut. I’ve got sweatpants on. That guy, when they found Ted Williams under the underpass, he was better dressed than I am right now. But you’re in the solar world.
RYSSDAL: That’s true.
OSWALT: I need you to keep the world running and then you need me to amuse you at the end of the day when you’ve basically saved the world again and kept it running.
And it struck me, that is what we’re doing in the opera world. The Ancient Greeks taught us that music is the study of invisible relationships between internal objects. That is what our lunar profession is all about. To my tax preparer: you have saved people all-day from a prison-bitch relationship with the IRS. Please, take a seat at my bar. What would you like? Escapism? Absurdist? Comedy? Tragedy? Stress-Release? I’ve got that on tap all night. To the mom with screaming kids: wouldn’t you like to hear a more pleasing noise for tonight? I’ll start you a tab.
The fact is that we need the lunar professions to give our solar professions more meaning. When was the last time you told someone about how well the receptionist answers phone calls? Hmmm. But, go to a good show over the weekend and you will be talking about it clear through Monday – maybe even next Friday if it was really great.
Therefore, Sybaritic Faithful, take heart. When others ask you to validate your career choices look no further than inviting them to your next show or concert. To wrap this up, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Karl Paulnack of The Boston Conservatory, “Well, my friends, someday at 8 PM someone is going to walk into your concert hall and bring you a mind that is confused, a heart that is overwhelmed, a soul that is weary. Whether they go out whole again will depend partly on how well you do your craft.
- A little bit of everything from Patton Oswalt (boston.com)
- Amy Sedaris Crafts on NPR’s Marketplace (craftzine.com)
Great Article! I’ve forwarded it to friends and family who are dubious about the choice to be a professional singer…
Glad you like it, Kerry! Thanks for reading the blog.