When I visited CPCC in Charlotte, N.C. last week for a collaborative residency, I needed some serious handling.

I was invited for a “Woman in Music” residency that included collaborations using my original music with the dance theater department, the opera ensemble,  the Bechtler Chamber Ensemble plus a masterclass for the Music Rep classes and a series of harp “MegaLessons.”

With Chase - my Friday Handler (who came back on Monday to help out, too!)

With Chase – my Friday Handler (who came back on Monday to help out, too!  And even tuned my harp!)

It was all fun stuff — BUT … I was carrying about 80 pounds of equipment around with me between my harp, costumes and electronic gear — I rarely knew where I was going, and I was going nonstop from the minute I got to the campus ’til I got back to my visitor’s cottage, a blessedly quiet guest house in my host-and-hostess’s backyard with a blooming dogwood outside … and a nice hot bath inside. (OK, maybe it wasn’t a dogwood, but it WAS a hot bath)

With Tamar - my Sunday Handler (and note Ken & Steve in the background working their magic on the stage)

With Tamar – my Sunday Handler (and note Ken & Steve in the background working their magic on the stage)

With Marion & Payton, my Monday handlers (yes! I needed TWO on show day!)

With Marion & Payton, my Monday handlers (yes! I needed TWO on show day!)

The long and short is that I needed handlers – people who picked me up at the airport, helped me get food & coffee, and transported my equipment from building to building, saved my harp when I completely spaced out and was letting it roll towards oncoming traffic … and so on.

These are the quiet little relationships that are so important when I’m on tour, the people whose dreams I learn about when we’re waiting in traffic, whose work I get to see pictures of when we’re eating lunch, who I have tiny secret adventures with as we get from Point A to Point B.  The people who make it possible for me to get to rehearsals, to connect with audiences, to find my glasses and my phone, to tune my harp, to get onto stage where I feel most alive.

So this is a thank you to all those people at CPCC and to Alan Yamamoto and the powers-that-be for putting me in the foster care of people who took me under their wing for a brief moment and who made it possible for me to do all the more glitzy things that everyone else applauds.

This is my applause for you.

Thank you to my wonderful handlers … Betsey, Chase, Tamar, Ash, Marion – and if there’s anyone I forgot – don’t let me forget – you already know how forgetful I am!

[Eeeeek! I’m missing photos of me Ash & with Betsey – I was sooo sure I had them!  Well, if any of you three read this and have  photos of us, please send and I’ll add them to this post! I need a handler to find those photos! Seriously!]

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