April 10, 2007
The Prince & the Pauper
Rejection is part & parcel of any freelancer's life, of course. But stories like this one can help to ease the sting of the critical masses.
It's a news story about Joshua Bell, the world famous violinist. As an internationally acclaimed violin virtuoso his concerts regularly sell out at $100 a ticket. However recently he fooled everyone. Joshua Bell appeared unannounced and played for free... for an hour in the D.C. Subway (on his $3.5 million Stradivarius no less) as a busker.
What happened? For an entire hour he performed his free recital and basically nothing happened. The thousands of people walking past just ignored him completely. Only one person recognized him. Children stopped to listen, but were soon whisked away by their parents.
I think it's a valuable lesson to not take rejection too seriously in the creative arts. Nobody knows the value of one's own creativity better than we do ourselves!
"Some people occasionally put money in Bell's violin case, as he played the gorgeous Bach Chaconne (actually twice, the first and last piece), as well as other pieces by Bach for unaccompanied violin and the famous Gounod Ave Maria. No one stopped until the very end, when one young woman stood taking it all in, with the crowd rushing by her. She then chatted with Bell, saying that she caught his concert at the Library of Congress the month before."