Murphy’s Law states that if anything could possibly go wrong, it probably will — and often at the worst possible time. As cheerily optimistic a world-view as this may be, we can usually recall enough examples of such times that it feels true.
Such as, showing up for an audition, thinking you have plenty of time, only to find out they are running ahead of schedule. Airline losing your luggage and lucky audition socks. Flight gets delayed, arrive at the hotel at 2am, and your only credit card gets declined with only 7 hours left before your audition.
So the big moment has finally arrived. As you take your place on stage, ready to play the repertoire that you’ve practiced diligently for months, the nerves really begin to kick in, and your thoughts begin to race.
Here’s something to try the next time you’re in a toy store and have access to an inquisitive 3-year old kid and some electrician’s tape. Tear off a big long piece of tape and use it to mark off a circle on the ground, about 3-feet in diameter. Put the toddler in the circle and see how long it takes for him or her to wander out of the circle.
Ok, try to gently steer the little one back into the circle.
One of the first things I typically do on an airplane is look for the SkyMall catalog. I’ve never actually purchased anything from the catalog, but it’s always fun to see what new cool overpriced and unnecessary (but still tempting) items might be out there. Sometimes I’ll even rip out a page and take it with me. After all, you never know when you might need a $120 portable reclining laptop desk, right?
This is probably how most people browse through catalogs. However, I once met a person who did the opposite.
The date is Saturday, February 23, 1991. Violinist Isaac Stern is in the midst of performing a Mozart concerto with the Israel Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta conducting, only to be interrupted by air raid sirens signaling a Scud missile attack.
The orchestra leaves the stage to put on protective gear; the audience remain in their seats wearing gas masks. Stern returns to the stage sans gas mask, and proceeds to play the Sarabande from Bach’s D minor Partita.
Most of us will never perform under conditions like this, but for a moment, just imagine.