I decided to buy poster board and advertise that my performing in the park was part of my fearless acts challenge. And that was a good idea. I quickly learned that singing alone in a crowded park doesn’t garner much attention. I also happened to be next to the booth promoting, National Orgasm Day so, I had some stiff competition. But, my sign definitely sparked interest. People would walk by, read and then take pictures or give me a thumbs-up.
Truth: I wasn’t really into street performing. I felt distracted and self-conscious like nobody was paying attention to me. I started thinking of other ways to get attention: maybe I could get people to do a massive conga line or lure a crowd to run into the fountain while singing the “Friends” theme-song. I was just looking for anything more exciting than me, singing with my guitar.
About fifteen minutes in, a young, vibrant NYU student approached me. “I’m doing an article on street performers and would love to talk to you about your challenge. Would you like to grab a coffee?” Perfect, I thought. I was ready to be done.
Her name is Yuki and she’s here for the summer taking a music journalism class. She loves New York, loves photography and loves hearing people’s stories. My kinda gal. She asked me about everything; my journey; my challenge; why I wanted to be a singer. And when I told her I taught myself how to play guitar at age twenty-five, her eyes lit up. She’s only twenty!
“Thank you so much for sitting with me,” she said. “I think what you’re doing is really special.”
Maybe that’s what I needed to hear all along.
We parted ways and I continued to sit at the park for awhile. I started to think how I desperately wanted to change the moment, and do something different to make it more fun. But I would have missed out on meeting Yuki.
And sometimes when we want something different to occur than what is actually happening, we miss out on life’s greatest gifts.