THE MUSIC MAKER
Oscar opened the door sporting the broadest of smiles and clutching a cup of coffee and sandwich in his free hand. It was Spanish lunchtime and, not having been in Malaga very long, I still hadn't got the hang of the eating at three o'clock in the afternoon thing.
"Hola," I ventured tentatively before realising I'd reached the limit of my linguistic possibilities. Luckily, Oscar spoke good English and invited me in to the local studio of one of the biggest radio stations in Spain. I got straight to the point while my host chomped heartily on his humungous butty.
"I was wondering if you could listen to this demo I recorded, please. I mean, I realise this kind of thing must happen all the time and so, only if it's no troub..."
"Well, no, actually, I've worked here for the last twenty-five years and, as far as I know, nobody's ever brought a demo in. Look, I'll give it a listen and if it's any good, I'll play it on my show which begins in... well in twelve minutes, actually."
He stuffed my arms full of promotional goodies and showed me to the door.
Blimey, I thought as I toddled off home, that's amazing: no-one has ever knocked on their door with a demo before. Just then, my reverie was interrupted - and this is really true - by the sound of my song coming from an open window of a car stopped at traffic lights. Good old Oscar had come up trumps. Subsequently, we became friends and, as a result of that first meeting and quite a bit of air play, I was offered work singing live on national Spanish radio, in theatres and at a couple of the most emblematic venues in Andalucía.
In the last few weeks, I've been thinking quite a bit about Oscar and that day in 1996. What with the current circumstances and the the future of The Shakespeare firmly in the mix, I've been dusting down my old knocking-on-doors skills in a bid to maximise future professional possibilities in case it all goes the shape of a pear. Well, not literally knocking on doors obviously, rather pinging emails hither and yon and calling old contacts/complete strangers to see what's going down in the 'hood.
The gist is always the same.
I was wondering if you might have any use for my writing / composing / voice over / translation / painting and decorating skills (ok, I made the last one up)."
It's actually quite enjoyable to flex the initiative muscles once again and, it appears, the odd door is slowly beginning to creak open.
Maybe I should give Oscar a call to hurry things along.