It was April 21st, 2016. A beautiful Thursday afternoon. The sun was setting over a little local pizzeria, where four college students, myself included, were undertaking their first major fundraising event.
We called it the Artistic Takeover of Marco’s Pizza. Art from local students and young adults adorned the walls, depicting flowing rivers, glorious mountains, and a businessman with a sheep’s head. The proceeds were going to the South End Art and Business Association, or SEABA. After a project process filled with stress and strife, it was finally coming together.
Now, Murphy’s Law is a powerful, driving force in the universe. For those unfamiliar, it is a simple concept:
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
I was tingling with anticipation. A group member had sealed a musician to perform and kick off the event. A beardy man began setting up his amps and guitars. I approached him and asked how he’d like to be introduced.
“Well, the name’s John, but my project name is Callous.”
My heart sank. It didn’t take a lot of insight to know that he was obviously a heavy metal performer. At a family pizza shop. With children. And a baby.
My life flashed before my eyes as he began screaming, “I am the power,” into the microphone (note: I believe this is what he said. I am still unsure.) There is a time and a place for everything, and Callous was an incredibly talented performer. But as people began to get up and leave, and the staff started yelling into their phones to communicate with customers, I realized we had made a mistake.
Our group was wrought with turbulence. We had argued over trivial things and our communication was weak. Not a single one of us had known about the performer, and the group member who invited him hadn’t really researched his musical methodology.
Eventually, we opened up the microphone for an open mic session, which was much more appropriate for the venue. And while it came to be a success, with a raffle that included tickets to the Spirit of Ethan Allen, I learned an important lesson.
You may not always like the people you work with, but at the end of the day, you have to actually work together. Otherwise, you end up with a heavy metal artists screaming in a baby’s ear. And that’s just horrible.