Did anyone else feel there was something lacking last night during the incredibly well-orchestrated, well-hyped Academy Awards presentations? On facebook chats last night, I heard words like "deadpan" and "boring" and "dignified" describing the "festivities."
I thought the women looked more beautiful than ever before, the men more dashing (yes, dignified, in most cases), but there was something missing. Where was the enthusiasm?
Don't misunderstand. I like dressing beautifully and feeling dignified, but I've never thought that dignity precluded enthusiasm. Kevin Spacey, for one brief shining moment, demonstrated that dignity and enthusiasm can coexist perfectly.
Composers have a term for this, "con gusto," which means, "with relish". You needn't lose your dignity, but show some passion and excitement for what you do, for heaven's sake. Really. Do it for 'heaven's' sake, which is where your gifts came from, after all.
Maybe we should tap into the unrestrained joy of our inner child more often. Like this little guy, Jonathon, who cannot contain his enthusiasm, I'd rather see someone exhaust himself with the love of his craft and end up on the floor in a fit of laughter than to be so restrained as to shield himself from his own passionate feelings.
Con gusto, maestro!
The children from New York City's PS 22 gave the most enthusastic performance of the evening last night. Some friends (you know who you are
When we live our lives con gusto, it becomes contagious, just as the obvious lack of gusto was contagious last night. Whether dressed to the nines or carpooling in sweatpants and t-shirt, we spread the feeling that we care.
I wonder what Jonathan will grow up to do with his life. If he maintains that level of enthusiasm, he'll be able to rule the world, or at the very least, the Venezualan Youth Orchestra (Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra). He reminds me very much of another conductor who fearlessly releases his exuberant inner child, and it has obviously spread to every lucky teen in that orchestra, and as a result, spills over into the audience. He is Gustavo Dudamel, and here he conducts the VYO in Leonard Bernstein's "Mambo!" Enjoy!
Live today con gusto!