One of my funnest nights to date doing my “Play Me I’m Yours” challenge of all 29 Manhattan pianos! I started at the piano in front of the Astor Place subway station and played a new song of mine called “Fools Gold.” As I was playing a small crowed formed around me and asked me to play another song. I decided to do a song by one of my favorite artists, “Bruce Springsteen.” Lord, my love for Bruce is almost ridiculous! I played “I’m on Fire” and when I was finished a man asked if I knew any more Springsteen. Do I know anymore Springsteen? Honey, does a duck with a hard on gather weeds? (Some priceless Aussie slang that I picked up living down under…definition: Duh! Of course!). He asked if I knew “Thunder Road” and offered to play it while I sang! This guy was KILLER on the keys and I was desperately trying to keep up and remember all the words…but just as I started to forget, a guy standing next to me that had remained fairly quiet up to this point, suddenly busted out singing! We were cracking up and singing at the top of our lungs and pretty soon everyone in the crowd was singing Thunder Road. It was like we were in a musical and everyone suddenly knew the same song! Wouldn’t it be great if life was like a musical? An almost constant soundtrack where spontaneously everyone would just break out into song with you? Or the guy you liked would suddenly profess his love by serenading you in the middle of the street while passerby’s danced in perfect choreographed moves!
Our musical concluded at Astor Place with “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” because mother brought her little girl up to me and asked if I would play it for her. This little girl, with wide brown eyes and vanilla ice cream dripping down her face was mesmerized. I wish these pianos could stay forever!
I then made my way up to Times Square! It was 8;45pm, the sun had set and the lights in the square made you feel like you were in the middle of a kaleidoscope! I almost forgot how amazing Times Square is! I sat down at the piano, literally surrounded by people and began to play. For the first time in my life I felt what it would be like to be a celebrity. Cameras were flashing everywhere, the crowd thickened and a few people even video taped my entire performance! I was bombarded by people asking to get their photo taken with me, and where they could buy my album! It struck me how interesting it was playing in this kind of environment. Normally as a musician you are on stage and separated from the people you are playing for. But here on the streets, people are gathering around you, looking into your eyes and talking to you after each song. It’s interactive and amazing, and incredibly scary! But it is opening me up even more as a musician to be SO present with the people I’m playing for! It’s a give and take. We are feeding off of each other and creating something together! Again, I wish these pianos could stay forever!