Are you giving it your best?
I was watching The Tonight Show recently – the opening monologues are often funny, and other parts of the show can be entertaining. The musical guest that night seemed interesting, so I fast forwarded to watch their performance.
On stage were the two rappers, some percussionists, a 16-person gospel choir complete with director, and a pianist at a big beautiful grand piano.
After watching a while, it was the piano player who caught my attention.
His part consisted of four chords, and only four chords, played repeatedly and endlessly from the start to the end of the song.
No change in tempo, volume or ornamentation except for a little flourish at the very end. The effect was to produce a hypnotic rhythm which helped set the tone for the entire song.
The chords themselves were very simple. You could have shown my next door neighbor kid who is eight, and he could master it in about five minutes.
As a professional musician, the pianist was probably capable of playing something much more complex, interesting, and challenging that would showcase his talents.
You might think he’d be bored playing something so simple.
But watching him, I did not get that impression. His head bobbed, his body swayed, he seemed to be concentrating all his attention on making those four sounds come out just right from that grand piano with every touch of the keys.
We don’t all have a starring role. We’re not all the lead singer. Sometimes our job on the team is more of a supporting role. That doesn’t mean what you do it is not important.
If you are the star, be sure to thank the supporting players – they are the ones who help you shine.
If you are a supporting player, do your best to make the team performance the best it can be. Every single time.
And consider this: If you were looking to hire a piano player, would you want one who was clearly bored with his part, or one who gave every note his full, passionate attention?
Play your part, whatever it is, as well as you can.
Make today’s performance count.