TO MAJOR TOM AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE
In a short window of time we have seen two people I have huge respect depart for the period waiting rebirth. David Bowie and Alan Rickman were both talented in different ways and both were an influence on me all their own over the span of their careers. It is hard, if not impossible, to do justice to their contributions to society so I will keep it personal and just use this space to reflect on their contributions to myself and my growth. There are links that connect us all to one another, unseen and unknown links created by those with the vision to bring their imagination to life. Millions of people have heard the music of one and seen the movies of the other, the sounds and images left to us have been ingrained into the DNA of our collective consciousness and those of generations to come. What it did for my DNA was provide a path of escape where I could go for an hour or two and leave the mundane world behind.
David Bowie’s music impacted on my life like a freight train just as I was in a transitional period. His music expressed that transition as I went from teenager to a life of independence. Deeply moving both mentally and physically, his songs said a lot of what I was thinking at the time. That he had little need for conformity gave me the courage to ignore the branding I was being pressured to accept. His movie roles too had an effect on my consciousness such as “The Man Who Fell to Earth”. Relating to his character in the film was easy as I too had a sense of not quite fitting into my surroundings of the planet I found myself. Throughout my life I have had a great affinity for the work of this great man who has touched the lives of so many and influenced countess other artists so as to create ever-expanding waves of inspiration that can only but move us forward with them.
While Bowie gave my mind a mental backdrop to build on through his music, Alan Rickman provided the foreground built by somebody else. Whether as Hans Gruber in the movie “Die Hard”, Alexander Dane in “Galaxy Quest” or Professor Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” series, he gave us a persona that fit each role perfectly. I, an avid reader of the “Harry Potter” books, had a mental image of Harry Potter’s antagonist up until the very end that was brought to the screen in such a realistic fashion that I can honestly point to a role that could not have been written for anyone else. Now he has reprized his role as the angel Metatron in the movie “Dogma” and earned his very, disserved wings.
It was individuals like these, unique among the billions who bravely took on the challenges of stardom, bringing their creative genius to either transform our minds or transform themselves for our entertainment. Robin Williams, Janis Joplin, John Belushi, Jerry Garcia and John Lennon, other examples of humans who honed their skill into an art form and gave us performances that would never be forgotten. To them, each of those performances was another chance to excel both personally and professionally. We can take from their examples a look at how we interact in each scene of our own movie. How, by putting as much dedication into each chance we are called on to share ourselves with the world, can give it the attention to detail each of those chances deserve. A man who fell to earth once said, “My life isn't secret, Mr. Farnsworth, but it is private.” In privacy is also the preparation we bring to each moment of life so that those we come across see us involved deeply in every aspect of the moment. The endless rehearsals life has had us go through to get to that moment have not been a waste and now it is time to step out onto the stage and hold nothing back, to give as the saying goes, “the performance of our lives.”
In love and light,
Russ and Karra