Roughly sixteen years ago, I was budding Irish whistle player and living in Prince George, BC. I knew about a dozen songs, and had even worked up the courage to play at a few open-mike sessions. But what I really wanted was to play in a band, even if it was just for a song or two.
Eventually an opportunity arose when a nice lady invited me to attend a practice session for a band that she belonged to called “Out of Alba”. When practice time arrived, I was pleased to realize that she played Irish whistles also. I was also very excited, my reasoning being that if she invited me, it meant at least SHE thought I was good enough to play in a band.
At break time, she introduced me to all her bandmates, including their erstwhile leader, who also happened to be a doctor. The first thing that came to his mind when he met me was to ask critically “You play the Irish whistles? How do your short fingers affect your playing?” He then dismissed me, casually stating that his band’s practice sessions were for members only at this time, since they had a concert coming up soon.
To say that I was devastated would be a major understatement. I felt crushed, humiliated, all alone, and feeling like I would cry.
But, in no time, I thought to myself “Oh yeah good doctor? Just watch me!”
Instead of giving up, I used my anger to fuel my determination, and I practiced playing like never before in my entire life. Soon, Carolyn and her band-mates, without the good doctor there on that particular day, invited me onstage to join them in a performance.
I had such a blast, and felt so supported, but my two or three songs went by much too quickly. Carolyn and I also played a few duets at a charity event, and I will be forever grateful for her kindness, and the fact she recognized that musical spark within me so long ago.
And to that doctor, all I can say is: Never judge a dwarf by his fingers!