Saturday, February 6, 2010

Julie & Julia Inspire by Example

When I mention the movie, Julie & Julia, to my musician friends, most of them haven’t seen it. The movie was recently released as a DVD. That makes it easier to access. It’s a smart idea combining two personal stories, very well done.

I have two inspirational hits from this film, one for Julie and one for Julia.

The inspiration of Julia Child is the lesson of finding your passion. She was unfocused until she enrolled in Cordon Bleu to learn to cook French cuisine. That was the pivotal action of her life.

The best seller book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking would never have happened. The TV show would never have been made. It all hinged on that decision to study the subject.

She fell totally in love with French cooking. “Butter!” she says in an early scene. The French word is even more seductive. She is glazed and in a trance over butter.

We all need a pivot to turn from just plugging along to really making a song out of our life. (Or a fiddle tune.) You’ve heard of “find your passion.” Julia Child found hers. Everything followed from that.

The second inspiration is Julie Powell’s goal-intention-project of preparing all the recipes in Julia’s book in one year’s time and blogging about it. The ambitious, but doable project and the one year time constraint act as a wonderful motivational goad.

The project met resistance. Of course it would. Somehow, persistence wins.

The subtext of her idolization of Julia Child is an interesting study of emulation. Ultimately her achievement goes beyond the need for approval from her idol.

A few years ago, I had a similar experience. I set out to play one hundred different tunes one hundred times each. To devote this much time to a tune about twice a week was not completely crazy. But it was not easy for my mind to accept. After a while I got into an accustomed process. I just did it.

It raised my level of playing.

This year, inspired by Julie & Julia, I’m choosing a similar project. The big idea is, Publish 100 Fiddle Tunes from my repertory online. Do this over the next year.

It’s fair to say that I strongly advocate the inspiration from the movie. If you have not connected with your passion, consider a big project to get started.

Even, in the harshest case, you are defeated from achieving your target, you will learn so much about yourself, it’s worth it.

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