Today, driving my privileged dogs to their privileged hike in the mountains of beautiful Ojai, I had to pull over to the side of the road. I couldn’t see through my tears. A mother was on the radio. She spoke of her son, a boy killed in the nightclub in Orlando.
In the aftermath of this shooting, I know this: This one feels terrible. This one feels personal. This one feels like something must be done.
I have to go on stage and play a Beethoven Piano Concerto with Orchestra. There are at least 1,000 people in the audience. I haven’t played the piano in 30 years. I will fail.
I have 10-minutes to save myself.
I stumble towards another musician backstage, a woman who unlike me actually PLAYS THE FREAKING PIANO. I ask her to fill in. She covers her ears, shakes her head and backs away laughing.
Pacing and wringing my hands, I realize the only thing to do is find the conductor. I have to tell her I can’t perform. But she’s counting on me. Disappointing her feels as shameful as public humiliation…. What will I do?