Sunday evening, I met up with Julia at Bar on A in the East Village for their weekly open-mic event. People are encouraged to come with any new material they want to try out and are given the opportunity to do so in an encouraging environment, surrounded by other artists. J and I are in agreement that these things can quickly become indulgent, to say the least. However, that's kind of what it's supposed to be so live and let live and saddle up to the bar for a drink. And that's what I did.
There were some cringe-worthy moments: one chick played the guitar about as well as I do (which is not at all) and we found a visibly less-awkward version of Kat and Michelle who sang two original songs about how they met and how much they love each other (totally platonic, of course). Julia's friend did his stand-up act and brought the house down--his Blake Lively impression is unparalleled and his thoughts on his personal struggle with male-pattern baldness were simply stirring. However, the real kicker came when a 7 yr. old boy took the stage to pay tribute to his father.
This little boy and his dad frequented this neighborhood joint for the burgers and live music. The boy's father passed away recently and he wanted to come back to 'their place' and sing their favorite song. [Please note, at this point the tears start, and I immediately whip out my iPhone to record this, along with almost everyone else in the bar] I'm posting the video below. You can't see him because he wanted to stand behind the curtain, but he's got the sweetest little voice. What I didn't get on tape was him telling us, "I'm very shy so don't make me laugh." Also, listen at the end when he baits the crowd with 'You want me to come out?' and then asks us to close our eyes so he can do so.
To say this was touching would be an understatement. I can't imagine losing a parent so young, but what an incredible legacy this man left his son: love of life, love of art, love of traditions, and the importance of time shared with those we hold near and dear. This boy's father had to be smiling down on him as he did one of the bravest, most sincere and honest things I've ever witnessed a child do: he said, 'Thank you' and let us be a part of it.