One of the principles I ascribe to, even if I live it imperfectly, is all substance, no show. Like, the way I pray (publicly) is really straightforward. You know, some people pray differently than they speak, like they get impassioned or use a different voice, and whatever, that’s fine and dandy for them, I have no problems with it. Just for me, I speak when praying like I would any other conversation. That’s just my style.

When I was growing up, I refused to do the swaying and other physical flourishes that some of the other talented kids did when playing piano. I was 100% against it. Just, to me, it looked incredibly pretentious, and it seemed more like for show than for making it actually sound better. Like, did people actually do that when they practiced at home? Don’t they get dizzy? So with piano, the principle was all the emotion in the playing, none of the flourish in the show, if that makes any sense. So, I’d be fairly rigid while playing, but I dunno, I think I got the emotion out. Like, for things where the adjudicator didn’t see you directly, I always got high marks for stuff like that.

Why am I writing this? No clue. I’m just thinking about one of those things that few of my Stanford friends I think know about me – I was employed by the Stanford music department. As an accompanist. Nothing big, just accompanied a friend once a week for voice lessons, maybe a recital? Can’t remember, but yeah, they actually paid me for it, which was nice.

Frosh year I actually took a piano accompanying class. I thought I didn’t have the time (or money) for lessons so I took the accompanying class instead and it turned out I was the only one in it anyway so it was fine. Anyway, I drove the professor crazy because he kept wanting me to be more physical in my playing, the whole hand flourishes and torso swaying thing, and I refused. And that’s my boring story with no point.

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