“I dream of a country where artists can sustain their addiction to creation as effectively as tweakers sustain theirs to destruction.”
I was once playing in the streets of the West Village late one night when a homeless meth addict approached the group of people that had stop to listen and asked them for money. They opened their wallets and gave a buck. When I was done, he approached me with the same look in his dilated pupils and reached out his hand saying Your playing is real nice..can you spare a dollar? I’ve lost many people I love to meth and after touring the major cities of the U.S. have seen the slew of our country that collect more bucks to support their dreams then a majority of our Nation’s conservatory trained musicians every night.
I informed the homeless man It’s customary to give a dollar when you see a violinist performing in the streets. Realizing how my harsh tone was making the spectators uncomfortable I lightened up and said, I’ll play a song for you, but the next time you see a musician playing in streets please give something, rather than asking. He promised he would. As I got on the 2 train that night I saw the same man sitting right across from me. I pulled out my violin to play, as I always do, and watched as he closed his eyes, turned his head and broke his promise.
The lessons I learned from that night are: 1.) Don’t trust meth addicts, and 2.) homeless drug addicts make more money than conservatory trained musicians because they have the zeal to ask for it.
Considering that artist sponsorship is older than the House of Medici, and provides one of the greatest sources of income for today’s top artists on the charts; it pains me to know that our artists lack the same zeal that keeps our Methamphetamine industry booming. I dream of a country where artists can sustain their addiction to creation as effectively as tweakers sustain theirs to destruction.
Please know I believe dreaming is only the first step, and action is necessary to create change, so I’ll start here by mustering up that same zeal and say… Can you spare a buck?
In the old days, cash was coins and paper notes, but since December of 1998 it’s been available in digital form. Imagine how the drug industry will boom once the homeless addicts realize that they already make enough for a smart phone and print out of of QR code that links to a Paypal donation page. Long gone will soon be the days of cardboard signs with writing in marker saying, “Why lie? Just need a beer.” I hope our artists and entrepreneurs get there first.