[Callers] Was: Calling without a band?

Joyce Miller joyceling at sbcglobal.net
Mon Aug 2 10:51:12 PDT 2010


Chrissy,

Your post was very touching to me. It goes straight to the heart of something I have been struggling with in my calling practice, and life in general--trying to not be so harshly judgmental of myself and others. 

I was led to calling directly by my judgmental nature: As a dancer, I was so critical of callers that, ten years ago, when someone offered a calling workshop, I decided to participate because I wanted to develop empathy for the caller. I wanted to see the floor from the callers' perspective. I had no intention of becoming a caller, but that was the unintended outcome.

In any case, I've been wondering for many years if the society of callers might tend to attract in higher proportion folks who are hard on themselves (and therefore others), expect perfection, and have been (or want to be) high achievers. I don't recall ever seeing this topic broached on any callers' discussion group. But I know from my own experience how those impulses can lead to a loss of perspective. I struggle constantly to remember that this subculture of ours is here to spread joy. Your words were a tonic, and I appreciated them very much.

Joyce Miller
Grass Valley, CA

 
On Jul 31, 2010, at 5:29 AM, Chrissy Fowler wrote:

> But, whether it's chestnuts/modern, squares/contras, old-time/northern, totally-trad/non-trad-envelope-pushers, young/old, fast/slow, straightforward/flourishes, catering-to-hard-core/focusing-on-neophytes, recordings/live music, kids/adults, no-swings/2-swings or whatever the supposed conflict or failing, every single flavor of these callers/musicians/dancers is ADDING SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL TO THE WORLD, and that, my friends, is something I think ought to be honored and appreciated.
> 
> So what I've been doing (and, perhaps tiresomely, encouraging others of my caller/musician friends to do) is focusing on that thought in CAPS, especially when a caller or musician or dancer does something that annoys me, or isn't what I'd do, or has some sort of minor failing in my opinion, or is getting more attention than I think their work merits, etc.  So I'm working to quiet the outward expression of my critical thoughts, and simultaneously to look for and reinforce the positive instead.  
> 
> Because really, even an offering that I might rate with a B- or C+ or even D grade is disseminating traditional dance & music values in the larger culture, and every bit of disseminating can benefit all of us in the world.  




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