The Truth Behind My Front Porch Concerts

This post comes with a lot of frustration at myself for not recognizing how I feel in the present, and always having to see the truth in hindsight. 

As many of you know, I've come outside and played for my neighbors on my front porch a handful of times, going live on Facebook or Instagram when I do so. That way, my family can see me play from miles and miles away. Also of course whoever else is interested but can't be physically present. 

At first I was excited by the positive response I was getting. 

I really don't think I put a lot of effort in, so the magnitude of the response confuses me. It makes me feel undeserving of the attention, because of how little I actually do when I play outside. 

I got interviewed about it a few times now, by local publications and the like. I've felt like an imposter every time, because I see videos of people doing extraordinary things during Quarantine and my contribution to society falls somewhere along the lines of "bare minimum". There's always a portion of me that thinks that I'm getting my picture taken because: 

1) I'm non-white 

2) I'm holding a saxophone 

3) I have long, curly hair 

I've become a non-threatening conduit for the upper middle class into a culture that they desperately want to be a part of. The arts have always needed their patrons and supporters, and said patrons are largely affluent. While the attention I've received dismantles no paradigm (mostly older, upper-middle class mfers to no surprise), I don't want to be a poster boy for white people just because I photograph well and don't scare your kids. I might as well be a well-groomed android, playing sweet nothings to the ether on your "we're too privileged to take social distancing seriously" walks with your dog. 

I don't want to take a picture for you. I don't want to be holding my saxophone as a racially-ambiguous white-facing pedestal for my much shinier, much-more-important-than-me instrument. I want my body of works to be CONSIDERED when there are conversations about me. I want the barriers I'm breaking down in music to be SEEN and HEARD, and to be synonymous with my image. I want people to call out "Feralcat!" on the street, not just "eyy sax guy". I want kids to see my likeness and aspire to be artists, not just have their parents point at me like I'm a fucking museum exhibit. I am wrestling with the idea of being a public figure, and want to do the best I can to inspire without becoming a pawn of the local elite. 

But it starts with me, recognizing this pattern of perception that I could so easily be blind to. I am going to play outside more than ever, but doing so for myself and not for the randos on NextDoor. I will do my best to filter through the opportunities presented to me, ensuring that I take opportunities that don't make me feel like a white person's show pony. To those of you who wanted a photo of me on my porch, understand that my likeness is not yours. Just because you want something, doesn't mean you'll automatically get it. 

I don't succumb to your privilege.

2 comments

  • Raven Richardson
    Raven Richardson USA
    There are many truths that are told by many of us and many other people who are related to this sense and sensibility. The concert that is held behind these bars has soo much confidence in [url=https://bestwritingsclues.com/reviews/essayhave-review/]essayhave review[/url] with the preach of good and well aware type of substitute.

    There are many truths that are told by many of us and many other people who are related to this sense and sensibility. The concert that is held behind these bars has soo much confidence in essayhave review with the preach of good and well aware type of substitute.

  • Bob
    Bob Tokyo
    Hello! I am so excited to see and listen to more songs that you will have. I know that you don't stop producing songs for us because you love us. By the way, I am hoping to see more changes and exploration of your genre because I know that you can. As one of a [url=https://www.topresumewritingservices.com/resumeprofessionalwriters-com-review/]resume professional writers review[/url], I believe that you can pull off any concept given to you and I am excited to see and hear more from you!

    Hello! I am so excited to see and listen to more songs that you will have. I know that you don't stop producing songs for us because you love us. By the way, I am hoping to see more changes and exploration of your genre because I know that you can. As one of a resume professional writers review, I believe that you can pull off any concept given to you and I am excited to see and hear more from you!

Add comment