Family Matters

Family Matters

Don’t Play It Again, Sam: Chance Encounters Can Change Our Lives

By Richard Holloway

March/April 2015

For as long as I can remember, acting, singing, playing music, and otherwise engaging an audience were all I ever wanted from life. At age 5, I got a part in the kindergarten circus as ringmaster because one of the teachers had noted that I was “loud.” I took it as a compliment. I proudly wore a tuxedo and a top hat, energetically introducing the other kindergartners as they came on stage to perform a clown or animal act. The “chimpanzees” were a big hit, climbing the ropes in the gym with more enthusiasm than skill. When several tumbled to the ground I ad-libbed, “Included at no extra charge!” The parents’ laughter intoxicated me. From that point forward, I was hooked on the thrill of performing.

When I graduated from college with a major in theater and dozens of productions on my resume, I stood in cap and gown among friends who were preparing to go off to graduate school, a teaching career, or a place in the family business. Me? I was off to Boston to realize my dream of becoming the next singer/songwriter who’d change the face of music, even if that meant pounding the pavement as my own agent to get shows wherever I could.

The music business was brutal. Sometimes I’d show up for a gig, guitar in hand, only to greet a club owner who’d claim no knowledge of me. When I did get to play, the pay was minuscule. A Saturday night show might net $15. To make ends meet, I relied for support on the benevolence of friends and my brother, straining their generosity.…

Already have an account linked to your magazine subscription? Log in now to continue reading this article.

(Need help? Click here or contact us to ask a question.)

Not currently a subscriber? Subscribe Today to read the rest of this article!

Previous: Bookmarks

Read 4518 times
Comments - (existing users please login first)
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *