Mentors and Angels
I'll be headed off to a gig in a little while, but I have a few minutes for a new Blog entry...
After re-reading my first couple posts I feel like they were a bit too 'salty'. I will try to occasionally
add some sugar to the recipe to balance all the flavors. I do indeed have some serious topics to address in Blake's Blog in the future, but today's post is all positive and warm.
I have been forced to review my life and my career recently. It was mandated by needing to have
a BIO on my website. Writing it was a challenge, and it made me take a close look back at my bass journey thus far. Who knows where it'll take me next?! My life has sure had its ups and downs,
but there are some special people who were mentors to me that I want to salute here.
My english teacher in 7th & 8th grade was Mrs. Carolyn Marsh. She was a good teacher,
and directed me in my first dramatic lead-acting role in the school play (I was a Prince),
and she included me in an extra-curricular activities group made up of the school's delinquents and troublemakers. She took us on interesting field trips and tried to be a good influence on us,
and give us positive experiences off-campus. She also advised us to begin pondering
our career preferences and desires, and to start working toward that goal. I told her I already
had decided on my career, to be a professional bass player. She was only supportive and didn't
discourage me, like some people did. I will always be grateful for Mrs. Marsh.
Another mentor was the first bandleader I ever worked for, Ms. Joy Cayler. She was a force to be reckoned with, and she was a superior musician and brass teacher. She had led big bands all over the globe for many years, and in Denver she operated a youth big band educational organization. It was a three-tiered band system, where you could hopefully advance up to the top group, Brass Beat.The top-tier players got to play dance jobs and show gigs and earn a little money. You would have to read 100's of charts to be in this band. I learned pretty much everything I ever needed to know about gigging from Joy Cayler... Show up on time, with the right gear and wardrobe, and be prepared to work. Read the charts, play song after song, make them dance, and be good at your instrument. Joy's assistant director Karen Caton was also brilliant, and was a mentor to me as well. Thank you ladies!
My website which I just recently launched was only possible with help I got from my friends
Robin & Julia, both whom I have known for about 40 years now, and my beloved wife Gayle.
These women all have major skills, and helped me create my site and also helped with the editing and related matters. I couldn't have done it without them. They all have my back and I am
so grateful for the support and encouragement they give to me. Thanks so much ladies!
So, it looks like most of my major mentors have been women. They have all helped me to continue traveling my path, both in career and in life. They were/are all angels sent to aid me
in my life. Especially my bride Gayle, she is truly an angel and the moment I met her was a blessed moment that changed my life forever. I couldn't be a full-time bassist without her continuous support and encouragement.
Here's to all you extraordinary women! I am grateful.