Tuesday, August 11, 2009

AB.com Guest Post - Everybody Can’t Skate to the Rooftop.

[Editor's Note: Ebonie is back. I'll admit I haven't watched anything Diddy-related since that one season of Making The Band with Chopper and Babs, but MHB is one of AverageSis' favorites.]

Everybody Can’t Skate to the Rooftop.

Most of us have to be willing to build a foundation first.

In the media there are so many people thrown to the top these days, not for having talent or working hard, but for being related to someone famous, just for looking pretty, for sleeping with the right person, for having a bajillion kids, or for feuding with someone else. But everybody’s not a Kim Kardashian, Sarah Palin, Joe the Plumber, Octo-mom, or Real Housewife.

I never thought that the words Diddy reality show and thought provoking moment would go hand in hand, but they did for me during the second episode of the new show, “Making His Band.” Kristopher, one of the contestants vying for a spot in Diddy’s band, ripped his audition in the first episode – scroll to the 3:20 mark on the video:

Straight ripped it. Had people standing up in the audience and everything. Fast forward to episode two and the judges want to make sure the contestants have the musical foundation to make it to the next level. Alas, we discover that Kristopher can’t read music. (Insert Nick Cannon scene from Drumline here …) But moving on. While some of the others in this boat stress as they try to learn the music for the next try out, Kristopher is pretty confident that he will be alright without really practicing like crazy.

Cut to the day of the next try outs and suffice it to say, although he’s playing something on the drums, it isn’t what the judges are reading on the sheet music. The judges try to give him a small break and ask if he worked hard practicing the piece. “To the best of my ability,” he answered somewhat lackadaisically. The look on the judges’ faces said it all. He was out. Not for not knowing how to read music, but for not having the drive to want to do whatever it took to make it to the top.

I observed a similar experience during my last semester in college. I decided to take a beginners’ percussion class as an elective. Never mind that I was a journalism student who had played the piano for a few years, but had never touched a drum in life. Sounded like a fun class to ease on out of undergrad in!

Um, yeah, so things did not go as expected. The first day of class I thought I might have accidentally enrolled in an intermediate course. A whole bunch of guys in the university’s marching band were just chillin’ and playing around with the drums in the classroom. Some were getting all fancy with the sticks and twirling them in the air. What the hell was I doing in there?!?

But when the teacher arrived, turned out I was in the right place. I was just in a class with a bunch of music majors who played instruments, but not the drums. As soon as the instructor started talking about snares, rolls, flamadiddles and God knows what else, Lawd knows I thought about quitting the course. But I wasn’t about to delay graduation for a percussion elective. Uh uh.

As we delved deeper into the semester, it became obvious that some of the class members twirling the sticks in the air and showing off on the drums at the beginning were the same ones who thought they didn’t have to learn how to read the percussion sheet music. The ones who didn’t practice hard on the drills. So those of us who barely could piddle paddle at the beginning didn’t look so bad toward the end when the class got harder because we had worked hard to learn the basics. And some of the best musicians were struggling to pass the final assessments because they had trouble reading the music and hadn’t mastered the easier material.

Which brings me back to the show. When I watched Kristopher lose this opportunity for not being willing to learn something to perfect his own craft, I thought about all of the people – especially fellow young people – who don’t want to build the foundation for their dreams. They just want to fly right to the top. And even if you have the talent like Kristopher clearly had, if you’re not willing to do what it takes to fully develop it, somewhere along the way you might just have to face the music…

Question: Are you watching Making His Band? Which Sizzler is the cast of Making The Band 2 currently working at?

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