Hey all, Eric St. Cyr here. Just giving you a little quarantine commentary.
So, yeah.. I think it goes without saying that these are some REALLY WEIRD TIMES! I’ve been on my couch for about 5 weeks. I mean, sometimes I leave the couch but, you get the picture.
I was racking my brain for ways I could challenge myself as an artist or at least find a platform to express what I’m feeling. A lot of us have no idea when audiences will flock to the seats again, no idea when our next audition or performance opportunity will be. It really is an unprecedented thing we are experiencing collectively.
And that’s when I stumbled upon TikTok… I’ll admit, even as a shameless performer who sometimes resorts to shock value for half a giggle, I was a little hesitant. But I had to at least give it a try! For me it’s just a new way to create content that I wouldn’t normally share. An open dialogue with the people in my head, if you will.
Personally, I’m venturing into an interesting time as an artist. The roles I get called for have changed, music has changed, all the while my goals as an artist have mostly remained untouched and intact. Unchanged.
With that, I’ve decided to use TikTok as a personal platform to challenge myself and maybe make a soul or two laugh who might be feeling the same anxiousness in isolation as me.
I decided to practice a little sense memory with some guitar riffs. These are just some open chord improvised exercises that I’ve done to warm up my hands and relax my shoulders and spine over the years. These little riffs off of an open chord always take me back to the sights and smells of when I had my street performers permit and spent a summer or two working and living in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
If you’ve never been to Provincetown, just imagine the coolest place ever. Awesome restaurants, street performers, beaches, and nightlife galore. After I graduated college and bounced around some regional theatres in New England I decided to take a summer off and move to Cape Cod. I remember being thrilled to learn how to work as a pizza and ice cream prep worker, and I even learned a ton about the coffee industry! My favorite part of that summer was creating my own pizzas and ice cream flavors and trying to convince the owners to put them on the menu. They never did… so I just ate them instead. (They were good though, I promise.)
Once I got my street performers permit, every Monday I used to drive my grandmothers 1997 Ford escort Zx2 down to Provincetown after my shift and just start playing the 8-10 songs I had in my set list. I would start around 4pm and by nightfall I would shower at a friends house and go out to the clubs. I’ll always remember this as the best summer of my life, and these little riffs always take me back there. I can remember the taste of all those New England microbrews, the pasta, the clams, the oysters, and getting sun burnt on Head of the Meadow beach without a care in the world. No bills to pay, no kids or obligations to anyone but myself, it really was the perfect summer. I think in our early to mid twenties we all have a summer that sort of encapsulates that seamless transition into adulthood.
As I sit here and play these, it’s like I’m back on the streets of Provincetown again, with nothing but my whole life in front of me. Sense memory can truly transport us, I continue to utilize it in all of my artistic endeavors.
I hope everyone is safe out there. And if you need a laugh, get on Tiktok!