There are many perspectives one can take into the out of town gig. As I’m on the road right now singing in Nixon in China in Vancouver I wanted to take some time here on the blog to celebrate and share what makes me and colleagues happy when we are working away from home. “Happiness” from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is such a great starting point. Forget world domination (apologies to Ellen DeGeneres) The song reminds us that Happiness is finding a pencil (talk about low standards), two kinds of ice cream (now we are talking) five different crayons (you lost me again). I’m going to start with food today. Today, what makes my colleague Thomas Hammons happy, and me, is STEAK.
There is something wonderful, even if you do it alone, and I have, about going to a heavy oak doored, dark paneled restaurant that a local has recommended for steak. The sort of place where you can get a steak cooked the way you like it and that has a good wine list. It is luxury taking the time to choose a plump glass of red to go along with your choice cut of dead red (if you are a singer who risks that between rehearsals) Saying “yes” to the baked potato and the sour cream with the chives and bacon feels naughty and indulgent too. You take in the moment to watch other patrons while you wait for your meal. Couples on romantic dinners to your left, gruff business meeting types who bark “I’ll tell you what” and the like to your right. Here is the time to watch the world amble by.
How happy it is to splurge on a steak for yourself, by yourself, in a foreign city. The message it sends is:
“I am worth a fine meal. My life is here and now, even though I miss my spouse, my kids or my cat. I am giving time and money to a fine meal.”
Tonight, by the light of the candle at my table, and while stroking a fine linen napkin as I await my sirloin and inhale the cherry notes of that shiraz, I am very happy. As the last line of the song says “Happiness is anything that is loved by you”. Today, that means steak.