(Photo courtesy of Patrick Vlaskovits, drawn by the infamous internet meme, FAKEGRIMLOCK.)
I don’t know if I believe that saints really exist, but if there ever was one, Melinda would be it.
In the last LeanLA meeting, Patrick Vlaskovits and Brant Cooper used a “surfing” metaphor in order to describe what they were trying to do with their new book, The Lean Entrepreneur. Given that the future is becoming faster and much more unpredictable, there would be a need for people to learn how to stay above the water, so to speak, during difficult times ahead.
Being a freelance teacher and performer for several years, uncertainty is something that Melinda is not a stranger to. All things considered, she’s one of the most “balanced” people I know, happy with her lot in the world and always generous with her time and talents. I knew, then, she could function as the protagonist for this project and come off very well as the melodic line using the piano as a backdrop.
Of course, I’ve tried appealing to Melinda’s ego in the past, to no avail. She’s not particularly interested in showing off her skills or telling the world how great she is, so asking her to simply “play out” or “be the star” has never worked. I had to frame the session in such a way where she was in the position to “help people” by telling her story of how she was able to achieve happiness in the midst of all of the uncertainty and chaos in the world. And then, something finally clicked.
The session turned out a lot different than expected, but in a good way. Half way through I actually ran out of ideas and had to stop playing, but she kept going, persevered and having gained independence from all of the structures and rules that were set in place. The music went far beyond the surfing metaphor — she rode the waves high and dry, flying into the air and into the beyond.
The feeling that something had been accomplished tonight was pretty obvious. I think we stumbled onto something important here, and it’s likely to shape the theme for the next iteration of tracks. Today was the first time so we took it a little bit slow, so next step would be to take the tempo a bit faster, I think.