Based on my concert and show attendance over the past twenty-five years, you would have a tough time guessing what my favorite type of entertainment is, and there’s a good reason for that.
When I first started working at WCDO Radio in Sidney I had access to shows and concerts from nearly every genre. I remember the first time I was offered free tickets to see a show and it was on a weekday, so I hesitated, thinking do I really want to do this when I have to work the next day?
My boss looked at me and shared a piece of advice that I have kept to this day. He said in ten, twenty, thirty years from now I won’t remember getting a good night’s sleep, being to work on time the next day, and not being tired. I will, however, always remember the shows I went to, so never pass up an opportunity to experience something amazing because I will have that for the rest of my life.
I took the tickets and saw Bryan Adams at The Forum in Binghamton. It was a great show, and from that moment on, I never turned down tickets when offered them, regardless of who or what it was.
Because of that, and over a decade working at the radio station, I had the opportunity to see some memorable shows and events over the years. Concerts, comedy shows, plays, theatre. I took every opportunity and never regretted a tired day at work. Even when my career diverted from radio broadcasting, I kept this mantra and continued to seek out shows and opportunities to experience something new.
When I say I have seen a wide variety of concerts and shows, I mean everything! Over the years I have been to some fantastic concerts like Godsmack, Steely Dan, The Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson, Toby Keith, The Eagles, and 3 Doors Down. I really love comedy shows and I have seen live performances from George Carlin, Ray Ramano, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry the Cable Guy. I am going to see Amy Schumer later this fall and I cannot wait! Since I had young children, I also made sure they had the opportunity too, so off we went to see Dragon Tales, Bear in the Big Blue House, Sesame Street and Disney on Ice.
Do you remember the show “Bear in the Big Blue House?” Well, when Rachael was about three years old we took her to see this live show in Binghamton at The Forum. We even had “Meet and Greet” tickets so she could meet “Bear” and all the characters from the show. This was her favorite show at the time, and I was so positive that she would be beyond excited to meet these characters up close; I couldn’t have been more wrong.
We were all gathered in the “Meet and Greet” area, Rach was clutching her box of popcorn, excitement in her eyes. Suddenly the characters entered the room and I said “Rach, look … there he is, it’s Bear!”. My little girl looked up to see “Bear” right in front of her. He had ducked down to come into the room and stood to his full height of about 7 feet tall (needed to be tall for the stage). My two-foot-tall blonde baby stops dead in her tracks, freezes for a moment, screams and immediately begins to cry inconsolably.
The more that “Bear” and the rest of the characters tried to console her, the more she cried until we had to leave the area. She was so traumatized by this that throughout her childhood every time she met a character in costume, she was so scared that she wouldn’t go near them and would cry if they were anywhere near her unexpectedly. It’s really difficult to attend birthday parties at Chuck-E-Cheese when you child is scared of Chucky. Even now as an adult, she does not like characters in costume. Sorry, Rach!
So other than traumatizing my child at an early age, I can say that every experience I have had has been memorable (even that one) and worth it!
There seems to be something in the air because over the past few days I have had the “take advantage of every opportunity life gives you” conversation with a few friends and both of my daughters. We are all so concerned with what other people think or letting the fear of failure hold us back. When I look back there are things I regret not doing, chances I didn’t take and opportunities I let slide by, assuming more would come along. These are the mistakes of the young and inexperienced and we all did it.
The older I get, the more I want to embrace everything, and luckily, I have people in my life who are willing to come along for the ride. I am a bit of a risk-taker, but I wasn’t always this way. It comes from experience and an understanding that it’s better to try and fail then to never try at all. I have learned that opportunity doesn’t knock every day, and unfortunately, I have seen too many people leave this world much too young who don’t get the chance that we are given each day.
I was given some really great advice, so the next time you are given an opportunity, think hard about it before you say no.
See the show. Book the tickets. Take the vacation. Eat the cake. Apply for the job. Take the chance. Get out your bucket list and start checking things off. When opportunity knocks, always answer the door. It doesn’t mean you need to invite it in and make it tea, but you can at least listen.
Be well, Kerri
The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of any entity that this author represents.