#throwbackthursday

I realized I had a bunch of old photo posts that I never actually posted, so they’re being turned into #throwbackthursday posts. 

This is from 2013 when Paul McCartney played a surprise mini-concert in Times Square. It was pretty awesome. Working in midtown kind of sucks, but this was one of the perks: being close to the action. 

Jobs, or something.

When I was taking (by accident) a class called “The Business of Acting” in college, I remember the professor saying, “I know they say life is short, but actually life is fucking long. You will do a ton of different jobs in your life.” She could not have predicted that she would end up as a casting director and a part time college professor when she was studying theatre at Emerson. 

This week I saw my therapist for the first time in about a month and a half. We’d had some scheduling conflicts and then I went away and now I’m back, so I emailed him and I finally made it to his office. 

We talked about the main issues I have and finally after we were done sorting that shit out, he said, “So what’s your main concern at this time?” and after I told him, he said, “This is just my opinion and I’m not trying to force this on you, but I think we should look into you being a little more ambitious career-wise.“ My first thought was, “Why do I have to have a career? Can’t I just have a job that supports my life?”

He said that he saw that I was so concerned with finding a job that I didn’t feel like I was constantly going to be let go from that I didn’t actually care what the job was. This was, in part, right. I like my job a lot right now – I’m learning a lot and there’s a lot of work to do so I’m not bored. And my boss is really nice. He’s such a pleasure to work for.

At Job A, I liked the work – I was good at it. I had a really good groove going. But I got to the office at 8am and left around 6 or 7pm. I was really burnt out. And I was making next to no money. But hey, that’s show business.

So, I left that job when I was offered Job B doing something completely different (though still numbers oriented) though I was stupid and desperate and took it at the same salary. Hey, I got a ton of comp tickets and the company was pretty fun to work for. It ended up not being a good fit for me, or the company, though so I was laid off and immediately started Job C. 

Job C was great – it was a fun company, I was good at the job (basically the same job as at Job A), and I was actually contributing to the business in meaningful ways through the HR side of things. I also got a $10k raise. This was nice. I got to learn the HR side of things and that was awesome. I really liked that. However I saw the company’s books all the time and things were ehhhh business-wise. They tried to keep up morale but I didn’t think things were going very well. I was also bored. Because we didn’t have a ton of business, I didn’t have a ton of work. I was so, so bored.

So when a recruiter contact me on LinkedIn and I had two phone interviews and one in-person interview for Job D (which was more or less the same as Job’s A and B), and they were offering yet another $10k raise, I said yes. It was really, really hard to leave Job C but I did. I’m at Job D now and really liking it. As I said, my boss is really great and my colleagues are all really nice. They are always signing new clients, which means more work for me, which is awesome. No boredom, score!

But there’s always that twinge of “am I going to be able to keep this job?” My therapist told me that I do not have qualities of someone who should have these fears as I am extremely diligent and have no problem finding jobs. So, yes, he’s probably right about me needing to figure out what I want to do. 

Luckily for me, my boyfriend is really good at career planning and being goal-oriented so I’m making some lists on my own and then we’re diving head first this weekend in trying to figure out what would make me happy. Money doesn’t make me fully happy. My last two raises have been great, but money isn’t everything. I’ve never been close to poverty (I sound like an asshole saying that but it’s better than pretending otherwise) so maybe I take it for granted. I see people at jobs they hate making tons of money and I just don’t think it’s worth it. When is the paycheck ever going to be big enough for you? If money is all you strive for, you’re going to be endlessly striving for more and then what? Money is nice, but happiness, overall, is nicer.

You know what makes me fully happy? Meditating. And leading meditations. I’m going to look into studying with an actual teacher. And I’m going to give yoga teacher training an actual thought. I never thought I was the right personality for it, but I’ve had some teachers over the years who are a lot like me, so maybe I’m wrong. What would also make me happier would be brushing up on my accounting and Quickbooks skills. I put out an email about that yesterday.

Fingers crossed I can eventually figure it out. 

And fittingly enough, there’s a perfect John Lennon quote for this: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.

John, we miss you.

Today is the anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination in front of the Dakota. After an hour of protest at the Barclays Center, I stopped by Strawberry Fields to sing a few songs and send some love to where ever Joh is now. 

If John were around, I think he’d protesting with people in the street too. After all, he did write Power to the People. He just said it was a song that came too late. 

One of the reasons I love living in New York City is that you never know what’s going to happen that day. You could hear about Paul McCartney playing a surprise, free concert in Times Square at 1pm a half-hour before but by the time you make it to your car in the suburbs, it’s over. 

I was busy doing work when an email from a coworker popped up in my inbox with a link to an article about the surprise concert and the note, “I know you like The Beatles. This is happening. In 40 minutes.” I threw on my jacket and walked two avenues west to find people gathering in front of a flatbed truck on 46th and Broadway. There were maybe 50 people milling around but by 1pm, the crowd grew to what you see pictured.

Around 1:15, they opened the side of the truck and Sir Paul and his musicians came out. He played five songs off his new album and that was that. 

So, the suburbs can keep their McMansions and cheap cost of living. I’ll choose a free Paul McCartney concert any day. 

Strawberry Fields, October 9th, 2013, 8am

The anniversary of John Lennon’s birthday is a day I always celebrate. I got to Strawberry Fields a couple of times, I sing some songs, I blast it through my iPhone. This year was even better because I played DJ at work today and my colleagues very graciously humored me while I played through the 6.5 hours of John Lennon and Beatles music that I’d packed onto an iTunes playlist on my work computer (because you wouldn’t believe how impossible it is to find John Lennon’s actual albums on Spotify).

I burned Mind Games Sessions (Disc 1 and 2), John Lennon (acoustic), Wasuponatime, Imagine, Abbey Road, and The White Album (discs 1 and 2) onto my computer. 

And after that was over, I played the Across the Universe soundtrack which, thankfully, was on Spotify. (And yesterday we listened to Instant Karma all day.)

I stopped by Strawberry Fields on my way to work this morning (the above photo was taken at 8am) and then I stopped by again after my yoga class ended at 9pm. At 9, there were dozens of people there and many musicians set up, all happily playing, and singing, their hearts out.

John Lennon is tied in first place with a certain Billie Joe Armstrong for favorite musician ever. And why not? Lennon was one of Armstrong’s inspirations growing up so it make perfect sense. Taking a few hours out of my day (and my colleagues’ day) is the least I can do to celebrate him.

I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together.

Let’s face it: It’s always going to be really hard for a tribute band to impress New Yorkers, especially those paying top ticket price on Broadway.  Still though, it’s hard to deny that RAIN, now playing a limited engagement at the Neil Simon Theatre, is a pretty good time if you forget the fact that it is a tribute band.

The show starts off with video footage of the Fab Four exiting their plane on the JFK runway, the fans screaming, and then their performance on the Ed Sullivan Show.  The scene changes eventually to be their epic performance at Shea Stadium, then to a psychedelic setting for their trip into Strawberry Fields and beyond to perform a few songs from the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

This show beats Fela by far for most audience participation.  We were on our feet at least a dozen times, instructed to clap along two dozen times, and that was probably just the first act.  The part of the crowd who was older and were actually fans when The Beatles were together got very into it, but the most intense fan was in the third row center, probably mid-to-late twenties, and stood, by his lonesome, several times after they finished numerous songs. 

The actors portraying the Fab Four were fantastic, but the definite stand out was Joey Curatolo, who played Paul McCartney and was spot-on with his portrayal, and his look. 

The band asked everyone in the audience sixteen and younger to stand at one point, and there were quite a few.  They pointed out that there were at least 4 generations of Beatles fans in the audience.  I can’t think many bands with that kind of a fan base – even thirty years after they’ve broken up. 

If you’re a Beatles fan, there’s no harm in going and enjoying the music. 

(image via)