May 14, 2018
I was in Long & McQuade last week and I ran into my friend Alex Tirolese, who you may know as the bass player for London funkmasters Fun Fact. If you know that, you also know that Alex is an absolute monster bassist – a fun fact that is only underscored by the news he gave me that he recently signed a deal to endorse Spector basses. It’s a well-deserved honour for an amazing musician and a very humble guy.
What interests me from the perspective of the blog is how Alex lit up when he was talking about the deal. Spector has him doing bass clinics and recording videos for social media and that sort of thing. He’s really excited, as he should be. I could feel his energy when he was telling me about it.
I noticed myself lighting up one day last week too. I’ve been on a contract doing communications for a local organization, and one of my new colleagues told me he plays the drums. We started talking about drum tuning (something I’m lousy at), and my own energy surged up during the conversation. We were discussing tuning techniques and drum heads and how different rooms sound and what putting microphones on things does and all of that fun stuff. Again, not even something I’m good at, but the energy was palpable.
Alex loves bass guitars and clinics.
I love drums.
Energy doesn’t lie.
I’ve written before about energy as a clue. I knew a girl in Teacher’s College (yes, I’m a qualified teacher – scary, eh?) who hardly ever said a word. Then one day she gave a presentation on something and she lit up so bright that I almost had to shield my eyes. I couldn’t help laughing. Where had she been hiding? It was amazing. I’ve seen it with lots of other people too. You go out with a friend who seems reserved until you hit on a topic of conversation that just flips a switch. You tap into a passion. You watch that person light up.
I still talk to many, many people who don’t know what they want to do with their lives. A funny thing happens to me when that topic presents itself: I light up. Something stirs in me. Again, it’s a clue. It’s a signpost. You’ve seen it happen too. You run into a guy who can’t stop talking about fishing or craft beer or travelling or – shudder – politics. You meet someone at a party and you casually mention that you’re trying to lose ten pounds for bikini season. Suddenly she launches into a college level lecture on sets and reps and macronutrients and the protein window. You ask her what she does for a living and she says, “Oh, I work in a bank. I hate it.”
Clues, clues, clues.
If you feel stuck on what you want to do with your life, do yourself a favour and pay attention to your conversations this week. Try to notice what lights you up. Try to notice what lights other people up. Pay attention when you feel your energy rising. Follow those trails. Look more deeply at those discussions. What are they tapping into? What are they telling you about yourself? What are they saying about your possible passions?
Where are they telling you to look?
And now, here's Alex and one of my favourite local drummers, Kelly Currie of Fun Fact, laying down some groovy jams: