“Can I play your piano?”
Please take a deep breath. This piano represents more than a decade of work, struggle, and fundraising. If I’m ok with it in the moment, I’m happy to have my friends play it. If I’m just meeting you for the first time, maybe even the second or third, we’re probably not friends just yet. Perhaps in time we can be.
“Can I pay you to “_________”?”
I’m not likely to do what you want no matter how much money you’re offering. You’re welcome to present what you want. If it’s something I’d gladly do whether or not you’d pay me, I might be up for it. But please don’t put pressure on me or offer me more money or cajole me otherwise.
I will however make exceptions if someone is genuinely my friend.
“How did you get the piano here?”
“When are you playing in the park?”
I’m playing piano I’m Washington sq park in NYC Saturdays and Sundays pretty much year round from 10am to 8pm or so, depending on weather and the season.
“How can I help?”
This actually isn’t a frequently asked question, but I wish it were. I often need help with pushing the piano or watching it while I run to the restroom or other little challenges I’m regularly dealing with. Learning all of the music I perform and keeping this piano in good shape and moving it every weekend is a mountain of work. I can do it by myself but when friends offer a helping hand, it really does make a difference.
“Do you teach?”
Not really. But if we’re friends, you’ll likely learn something from me. And I’ll likely learn something from you.
“Can you be somewhere at whenever o’clock sharp?”
Nope, I won’t. Based on human life expectancy, my life about is half over. And I’ve spent a good portion of it in panic, racing to this or that trying desperately to arrive on time. I’M NOT DOING THIS SHIT ANY MORE!
Should you be one of the people who’s ridiculed or scolded me, chewed me out, told me I would amount to nothing, or that I‘m selfish for wasting people’s time for one of the countless times I’ve been late, please go find a quiet place, take a deep breath, and go fuck yourself.
I’m not going to rush my breakfast and have indigestion the rest of the day. I’m not going to wake up early than I want and be groggy the rest of the day. I’m not going to run hurriedly down the street, panicked heart racing and be covered in sweat to arrive for a film shoot, performance, frisbee game, dinner party, lecture or meeting, nor will I expect anyone else to.
I will make exceptions only for legitimate emergencies and health related reasons. Otherwise, you’re welcomed to provide a car service or veggie smoothie to get me somewhere closer to a more specific time. Should I need someone to arrive at a specific time against their will, I’d provide nothing less.
“A wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.” - Gandalf (of the movie, not the books)