TicketMOMster Review: “Life, it’s awesome!” with Mitch Dorge @ Inn at the Forks (Sparrow Hotels)
I remember the day I found out my Dad had unexpectedly died. I dropped my Daughter off at school and came home to take a shower. I was just getting out of the shower when I noticed my Husband had called my cell phone several times.
I called him back and he told me he was coming home right away because my Dad was dead. I frantically texted a couple of friends who called me immediately and then I sat in my sunroom. And that’s where I stayed all day, completely stunned and terrified.
My world was blown to bits and I couldn’t tell which way was up or down. So I just…sat…still. All day.
It’s been almost four weeks since that call from my Husband. Surprisingly, I’m having a good day here and there. Days when I kind of feel like myself. Days when I think, “Hey, I haven’t seen my friends in awhile, I should organize a party so we can all get together!”
And then the next day a wave of grief will overtake me and I’ll remember that I’m in the middle of grieving and this is not the time to be planning parties. I need to save my energy for simple things. Things like keeping positive thoughts; feeling grateful; standing up straight; breathing. All that stuff is extra hard when your heart is heavy and you’re surrounded by sorrow.
A week ago, my Sister in Law was invited to an event through work. She thought I’d be interested in the event and passed the email onto me.
Turns out it was a private speaking engagement with Mitch Dorge (drummer for the Crash Test Dummies). I’m not sure if she knew this or not, but Mitch and I kind of know each other. We’re mutual friends with David Schneider who runs The Music Cellar (if you’re looking for music lessons, THAT’S the place to go – more about this in a future post).
I had seen Mitch at events and he always struck me as an interesting guy, but I’m pretty introverted so I never approached him.
And then strange things started happening. I saw his name everywhere I went and people I knew (and didn’t know), told me stories about him. It was weird and I took it as a sign.
I contacted him on Facebook and we set up a lunch date. That lunch date ended up being about two hours long and in that time, I discovered that Mitch is extremely extroverted, incredibly grateful, full of energy and happy as hell. What better person to talk about happiness than him? I accepted the invitation.
It was a good day to talk about happiness, because I felt really, really heavy. Not depressed, but really weighed down by grief. I was able to function, but everything took so much effort.
Mitch started his talk by describing his very active inner child and then told us how he became a drummer. All his spare time in his childhood was spent drumming and later in life he became a drum teacher.
He posed the question: “If you won a billion dollars, what would you do?” He hypothesized most people would quit their jobs and fulfill their passions. He would do exactly what he was doing; playing the drums.
My answer to that question shocked me: I would do this. I would go to these concerts and write these reviews. I would write this blog. This is what I love; this is what I’m good at. That kind of knowledge is powerful and my grief stricken world instantly became a bit more stable.
Mitch talked more about touring all over the world (including Russia) and he talked about the Crash Test Dummies. In true extroverted Mitch fashion, he walked around and touched people, played with their hair and commented on their appearance.
Then he talked about positive energy and lessons he’s learned. He picked three people from the audience to come up and play drum patterns on their laps and then talked about the “Riverdance Concept”, the idea that more people create more energy (i.e. more positive energy).
Then he chose more people from the audience to create more energy playing the same drum pattern. I was one of the people he chose.
He made some of the people do crazy things like act like ninjas and thankfully, I wasn’t one of those people. Pretending to be a ninja in front of your peers would have been embarrassing, but bursting out crying during a “Life, it’s awesome!” talk may have been more embarrassing.
Unfortunately, I had to leave my notebook on my chair, so I didn’t get to write about the important points he made while I was up there. I tried to remember them, but grief sucks memory cells dry so I can only tell you what really stuck out for me.
He talked about playing with the Crash Test Dummies and how he always reminded everyone to give it their all on stage because people paid their hard earned cash to see them. The goal was to make everyone in that theatre a little happier than when they entered it.
I consider myself a professional audience member and I’ll never get tired of hearing that. IT’S TRUE. This should be every band’s goal; or at least one of the goals.
Then we all went back to our seats and he played his kit. He talked about people who can teach us about ourselves and our jobs even if they don’t fully understand who we are or what we do.
He ended by urging everyone to “find your happy” and mentioned he’d be conducting workshops in 2017 to help people do that.
After the talk was over, I waved to him as I was heading to the door. He stopped me, told me he was sorry to hear about my Father, and gave me a nice long Mitch hug. That hug was the highlight of my whole day.
So is life awesome? Am I happier after that event? No. However, I feel a bit more grounded in general. I’m comforted that I think I’ve found “my happy” and I’m right where I want and need to be.
My blown apart world is starting to calm down and fit into place. So, I’m going to be okay. Later, I’ll probably be great. And hopefully some day, my life will be awesome.
This video of Mitch playing his kit at the event makes me happy too.
TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here: www.facebook.com/TicketMOMsters