The second time a little moment changed my life forever
Noticing those innocuous little details that change everything
One random night in college, I decided to put on a nametag. Just for fun. Just to see what would happen. And out of that seemingly innocuous little detail, I built a brand, a business and an entire career.
That was fifteen years ago. And the spooky part is, I’m now conditioned to notice those innocuous details everywhere. To me, everything is a nametag. Everywhere I look, I see a sticker in a trashcan that could change everything.
Because you never know. Inspiration comes unannounced.
When my wife and I moved across the country, we specifically chose a neighborhood within walking distance of a major park. Trees were just too important to us. If we were going to live in a major metropolitan city, proximity to nature was a necessity.
One afternoon, after getting settled in our new apartment, we went for a walk in that park. And at the entrance to the great lawn, we approached something miraculous. An architectural marvel.
I’ll never forget the first time I strolled through the tunnel under the historic Meadowport Arch. The aesthetics were inspiring, the architecture was stunning and most importantly, the acoustics were shattering.
See, I have this obsession with naturally ambient spaces. As a musician, I feel a responsibility to never let good acoustics go to waste.
And so, I remember saying to my wife as we walked through the tunnel, I am coming back here with my guitar.
So I did. And within five seconds of strumming and singing, something magical happened. Something that changed me forever.
I remember thinking to myself, as I was performing, this is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. As I watched people walk by, smiling and listening and singing and dancing along to the music, I knew that I had stumbled upon a priceless opportunity.
I had found another nametag.
But this time, I wasn’t about to wait fifteen years to turn it into something.
So I started coming back to the tunnel every weekend. Playing full concerts under the arch for whoever walked through. I became a fixture in the local community. And because that experience of sharing my music in this new way was so transformative, I decided to make a documentary about it.
We have a responsibility to notice creative opportunities. Because once we apply force and propel them into interesting directions, there’s no telling what might be waiting on the other side.
It doesn’t have to be a nametag, it just has to stick.