December 12, 2011

21 Days May Not Be Enough ...

Originally published 12.12.08 on 21 Days of Paying it Forward

I remember this as if it was yesterday. It was cool then … it is still cool now

Last night, my lifelong friend, Victor Wooten, was in town performing at the Birchmere with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. The show was sold out and I had two tickets, but my daughter couldn't join me (she had an invite for the Cirque du Soleil show). As I was sitting backstage with Victor, Bela, Futureman and Jeff - we learned that the show was sold out. I decided to go out in the lobby and 'find a friend'. My goal was to GIVE someone the extra ticket. Having been in the venue since sound check hours earlier, I had literally the best table in the house - so the seat came with the ticket. The band wished me luck and I headed out to the lobby about thirty minutes prior to the show - where I met Brent. He started out thinking he had tickets to sell and ended up with NO ticket at all. I offered him the ticket and he was flabbergasted. At $59.50, this does not happen often. Once we got inside, I told him that I'm a friend of the band and asked him to wait for a second while I went backstage to see if Victor had a second before going onstage to meet him. Brent is a musician and was just beyond words. Ever gracious, Victor met him backstage and took a photo with him. Brent was so shocked he was almost literally without words, I wanted to just cry. It made me feel so good to give him the ticket, but he'd not yet seen our seats. When we walked to the table dead center stage - he just let out a deep breath. I don't know that I've been more tickled to do something for someone so unexpected. He asked me why I did it and I explained my Pay It 4ward personal campaign. During intermission, he disappeared and when he came back, he'd bought the new cd for himself ... AND me. It's catching on. After the show, I got him the set list and the band signed it for him. I gave him a ride to the Metro and headed home.

We exchanged email and phone numbers and promised to keep in touch. We probably won't, that's the way of the world. But for three hours we shared a cool experience and I'm the better for the giving.

21 days may not be enough!!

Update: Brent and I actually have kept in touch ~ kinda. A little over a year ago I got a phone call, looked down at the phone and it was him! The band was back in town (at Strathmore in Maryland) and Brent was calling to see if I wanted to meet him for a pre-performance drink … turns out I was NOT at that show. That night I had something else happening. Months later, I called Brent because I had an extra ticket and wanted to see if he was going to be at the show – he wasn’t. So, sometimes you promise to keep in touch and you actually do but life has a funny way to taking over. Brent and I are bound to be in the same place at the same time again at some point. Regardless, I don’t think either of us will ever forget that night. It was a good one.

Pay it forward and watch what amazingly random and beautiful thing happens that you never expected.

Merry holidays.

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