But the next afternoon our soloists arrived. Alfie Boe. Billy Idol. Eddie Vedder. And Pete Townshend. And things immediately improved. They could not have been more delightful - because they were all SO INTO IT. The rehearsal was a full run through, a few hours before the concert, and they could have been forgiven for doing mic checks, marking through two songs, and leaving to take a nap, but in fact they sang it and danced it, full out, worked earnestly together with the conductor to improve elements of it, and asked us to try a few things again so they could be better.
This was the complete opposite of our first-night mood. I missed a couple of entrances in the rehearsal (not the concert!) because I couldn't take my eyes off these men having the time of their lives, not fooling around but just genuinely doing their best job singing and performing this music they clearly loved. I didn't love this music, but I loved THEM. I appreciated and respected their work, their intensity, and their JOY in the performance.
(This was a great show. Tour information for Classic Quadrophenia is HERE - but be warned that a video autoplays so don't click if you can't be loud.)
This is a day I can learn from. First of all, if I'm not feeling the joy in the work I'm doing, I need to figure out who is. Is it the conductor? The soloist? The composer, arranger or producer getting their music played? Is it the audience? And if I can't see anyone loving it, can I find a way to be the one who loves it? Can I be that leader, the bringer of delight to the experience?
And if not, should I have taken the gig at all? That's a choice I can make, too.
This was a message I needed today. It's one I'll carry through the next few months of busy, and hopefully keep coming back to when things get dark and busy and I feel tempted to phone it in. Why not care about the work? Why not enjoy it? Why not LOVE it?