Imagine yourself hosting a party or a family gathering. You invite a group of friends and are celebrating a milestone or a special event. The party is going strong and you realize you are out of glassware. Not wanting to slow the momentum and energy, you sprint to the kitchen to get some glassware and you see Bill Murray in your kitchen doing your dishes.
No, you're not imagining it. It really happened.
Murray has been an iconic figure for nearly half a century. Through it all he has remained as accessible to the every day man as he is elusive to the paparazzi. To that point, for years now Bill Murray sightings have been the stuff of urban legend. In recent years, without any notice, the internationally known comedian and film star has:
Crashed a bachelor party to offer some unsolicited advice on love.
Hopped behind the bar at an Austin watering hole to sling cocktails.
Walked up to a Cubs fan desperately trying to get a ticket to the World Series and invited her to sit with him.
Inserted himself in a Sunday family kickball game.
Walked onto a construction site and read poetry to the workers.
According to IMDB, He’s popping up in so many random places that there’s even a website and a documentary by Tommy Avallone to tracking the actor’s whereabouts and activities. "The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man is an inside look at rare and never-before seen footage of the comedic icon participating in stories previously presumed to be urban legend. Whether it be singing karaoke late at night with strangers or crashing a kickball game in the middle of the afternoon, Bill Murray lives in the moment and by doing so, creates magic with real people. "
Why does Murray do it? What’s his motivation?
According to Avallone's, the answers lie both in Murray's films and the reflections of those he's touched in real life. “For Murray, life itself is a form of improv: When a situation arises, he meets it head-on and responds not as it should be but as he wants it to be.
To the person, everyone who has been a part of his impromptu drop-ins says they came away from it feeling not like they'd met a movie star, but like they'd been lifted up by the experience. He lives entirely in the moment, they say, and it's never about him.
I have never been especially good at living in the moment. I rarely savor a victory or revel in an accomplishment. My instinct is to move on and tackle the next problem. For most of my life this was more than my mentality, it was my identity, and I suspect will always be. You may be similar in this way. But, in recent months, like Murray I have felt more compelled to stop, watch, and listen. I am wanting to be a participant more than a leader and be WITH them instead of in FRONT of them.
Why do I share this? Because I know how BRUTAL February and March are for a music teachers. Registration deadlines, contest, school musicals, all-region auditions, concerts, and the like have us running ragged and always wondering, “I don’t have time to go to the bathroom, how am I going to find time to fill out a purchase order?” The demands and deadlines are as real as they are non-negotiable. But as you navigate through your day, perhaps you might remind yourself that we work with children. We create art. And that spontaneity and joy are more than a part of the artistic process, they are necessary parts of a healthy human experience. In the end, no one will remember your contest scores, they will remember how you made them think and feel.
Bill Murray’s adventures teach us an especially poignant lesson for an age when so much of life is lived outside the moment, via social media, where so many make it all about themselves. In the end, Avallone's film isn't really about Bill Murray at all, but his example. And it might be easier to emulate it than we think.
p.s. Look for a special announcement in your inbox tomorrow.
p.p.s. If you see or know Bill, please tell him he is welcome to "drop in" on any of my sessions!