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  • Writer's pictureMark

So, go see a show. Anything

from 2016

Being onstage is a frightening thing.

There is so much to hate about our current time, our current city. The news, media - people who stand to gain from keeping masses in fear, eyes clicking and fingers swallowing each disaster du jour. It is so easy to loose sight of the good. I flirt with canceling my Facebook account weekly.

But Chicago, our city, people.

On the way to the Creative showcase last night, I used a lift sharing service. Waited in anachronistic kindly weather, nerves dancing with every wisp of the wind.

As we drove, the driver noticed my guitar. So we spoke, and he was an interesting cat. A rapper that goes by the handle Patman. We shared stories of creating, struggling - being robbed of creation by those who don't see the world the same. A simple cab ride. We exchanged cards, made fleeting promises of collaboration. Rap meets rock or something like that. Wasn't going to hold my breath though.

The venue was sleepy at 7.30, save a few performers. Introduction, all of us instantly understanding, and anxious. In a good way I hope.

So the night would go, hours spent watching people of all ages, races, backgrounds and styles come together, like some makeshift meteoric civilization. All helping each other, respecting each other, sharing our own voices in this one small room that now feels infinite. We watched so many performers, on stage, as the audience  would ebb and flow. Watched them pour their souls out to strangers, in real time. No photo filters, posed selfies, corrections after the fact. People who are doing this for love, for passion. No one making money, no one being coached, no safety nets.

It's so easy to forget. It's so easy to stop breathing. It will happen if you let the river guide you. I think it is worth it to fight. Every day across this city there are writers, artists, painters, actors, musicians, sharing their stories in a unique way you will only ever get to experience that way exactly once in life.

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