No one pushes me like Dwayne McDaniel and I’m glad he’s in my life!
Push Each Other
When you see someone trying to move a dead car on the road, what do you do? What’s your first impulse? Do you get out and push? Or do you stay in your car and go about your business? If you’re in a position to help, do you? Or do you just let people struggle on their own? If someone needs to jump start their battery, do you latch on the jumper cables and give them a jolt? Or do you just say, “Sorry, man,” with your hands in the air? What do you do?
People are like cars. Sometimes we breakdown for whatever reason, and we need the help of others to get us going again, especially artists. I believe artists are a little more sensitive; we feel deeper, laugh harder, love longer, and break down more brutally. I don’t know why that is, but I believe it to be true. So if you’re an artist that sees your fellow artist in need, GET OUT AND PUSH!
“Well,” you say, “how do I that, how do I help someone who could use my help but is not asking for it?”
Here are some suggestions
1. Text someone and ask them about their current projects – a simple text can be the wedge that opens up a deeper conversation between you and someone else.
2. Ask someone out for a cup of joe and check up on them – this one already has the implication of a deeper engagement, so if they say “Yes,” good things can come from it. Ask them about their life and just listen. Don’t offer advice or anything, just listen, reflect, and empathize. Sometimes people just need to share their feelings with someone else as to not keep them bottled inside.
3. Get their address and send them a hand-written letter with a personal message inscribed – there is nothing like receiving a hand written card to warm your soul. My friend Paquita Esterly has taught me the value of this. To hold something in your hand made specifically for you is one of the best gifts you can ever receive. Write them a letter filled with positive affirmations and warm energy.
4. Scour your personal library for a book that is relevant for their present moment and time – like music, I believe books come into your life when you are ready for them. Look at your friend’s situation – are they spiritless flesh tubes looking for bigger answers to life questions? Or are they a lion licking their wounds after a brutal fight? Are they heart broken and need to process a break-up? – and prescribe the appropriate book for their situation. Props to Monte Mitchell on this one for introducing me to Carlos Castaneda when I needed him the most.
5. Have a real conversation at a random encounter – I believe in serendipity, the magic of the spontaneous encounter. It’s how I met Jeff at the I-House Coffee House and formed the legendary Jeff & Fernando. This happened on Saturday too when I had a real, genuine conversation with Hunter Carlisle. Hunter, a producer and patron at Spectacles Improv Engine, asked me a big question, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”
It’s been a long time since I’ve been asked that question. He pressed me to give him an answer, “What would you do if you could do anything?” “SNL and my own Anthony Bourdain like travel show,” I responded. He affirmed my dreams, encouraged me to follow them, and offered ways to pursue them. It’s a help I’ve been looking for actually, so it was quite serendipitous that I got it, huh? Believe in it people because it’s real. Thanks for the energy, Hunter.
6. Inform people about opportunities that may fit their personality or skill set – sometimes we stumble upon opportunities that we recognize as potentially great but not appropriate for us. When that happens, direct the appropriate person to that opportunity and encourage them to investigate. Much love and props to David Escobedo for referring me to a job today that may fit my skill set and personality – truth in reality and effect.
7. Post genuine and sincere affirmation about their character on social media – I see a lot of this on Facebook, and all I can say is that positive energy only begets more positive energy. Big-ups to improvisers everywhere who do this. It’s important that we recognize the individual geniuses and beautiful souls in our respective communities. Never underestimate the power of kind and sincere words to uplift someone in darkness.
8. Next time you see them, give them a hug and make them feel like a million bucks – this is me, I hope, wherever I go. Honestly, there is nothing like a hug to establish connection and it’s an essential brick in building a relationship with someone. Only give them if you feel the other person will be receptive to them. But if they say “Yes,” go for it.
9. Offer your help in whatever fashion they may need – a classic method. Be open and direct with your offer to help. See how they respond. Don’t promise help you can’t deliver, however, and whatever help you do offer, do it because you want to and not for any other reason. False help will add nothing.
CAUTION: Not everybody who you offer your help to will want it. Some may in fact be resentful of you intruding. If you decide to get out and push, make sure it’s with someone you already have a pre-established connection with or are willing to risk your relationship in the name of building it more.
Finally, you can’t lead a horse to water; people won’t accept your help if they are not willing to help themselves.
I hope this blog post has helped.
Please let me know,