The Big Man Lives On
After arriving in Cleveland this week to prepare for a performance of my solo cabaret, I had the pleasure of attending the Bruce Springsteen concert at Quicken Loans Arena. I’m a big Springsteen fan and this was my third time seeing him live (with by far the best seats I’ve ever had for a Springsteen concert), which made it a great way to spend an evening in my old stomping grounds.
It was also a very bittersweet experience because it was, obviously, my first time seeing The E Street Band since the passing of Clarence Clemons. There were definitely a few moments that had me close to tears. At one point early in the concert, The Boss asked the crowd if we were missing anyone. He then went on to say that, “If you’re here and we’re here, then they’re here.” He repeated it, singing it over and over in true Springsteen rock & roll evangelist fashion. It was an incredibly powerful moment.
I was pondering that moment again the next morning, and what really struck me was how that sentiment can ring true not just for friends and loved ones who have passed on, but also for those who may live far away and not always be physically present in our lives. We can keep them with us in spirit. Then, I started thinking that the same thing can also be said about the people who influence us, even if we’ve never had the opportunity to meet them in person.
I realize I’m getting really deep here, but as I continue on my acting journey, that idea gave me a bit of a creative boost…the idea that, in a sense, I can have an inspirational dream team with me all the time. Every time I walk into an audition room or self-submit for a project. Every time I begin to tackle a new role, song, or monologue, or set new career goals for myself. In those moments, and particularly on the days when I feel like I’m staring up a huge mountain, I can bring along all the artists who inspire me to do what I do. The singers who make it look easy. The actors and actresses who transport me to another world. The rock stars who make me think that maybe I, too, can be larger than life. They can all be there in the back of my mind, motivating me, cheering me on. In fact, if for no other reason than the huge influence they have on me as a performer, they already ARE there.
And so is The Big Man.