Rock Star University: Show Up

If you haven’t yet, check out this clip of Prince sharing a stage with several other musicians at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2004. I get chills watching this. Prince is doing anything but dialing this performance in. Can you predict what I’m going to say? Prince is teaching me here to show up one hundred percent. No matter what everybody else is doing, no matter the occasion, no matter what, have the courage to show up with everything. Be overdressed rather than underdressed. Be enthusiastic rather than apathetic. Show the courage to revel in the full joy of the moment….

Rock Star University: Pursue Excellence

In a fog of mourning last week, perusing every Prince interview available on Youtube, I found an odd little visit he made to The View some years ago. The hosts harass him until he leaves, but before he does he drops an important piece of wisdom. After Barbara Walters leans in to say that Justin Beiber had told them that he wanted to have a career as long as his, Prince just smiles. She says it to flatter him, but he isn’t flattered. His look is gentle but deeply knowing. Prince says, “The key to longevity is to learn every aspect of music that you can. I…

Shakalakaboom

Last Wednesday as I stood at the white board in front of my classroom, one of my students called out a word. “Question.” And I said, “Does anybody know about the quake? Bullshit. You can’t get off until you make the house shake. Now everybody clap your hands.” Crickets chirped. Students blinked, fixated on the naughty word I’d just said. Wondering had I lost my mind. How could I explain? Prince’s lyrics are embedded in my neural pathways. They are in the tissues of my brain so deep that they have become a part of my DNA. So if you…