Bruno Martelli, Exposure, and Letting Go of Your Art

I’m watching “Fame,” the 1980 original.

I haven’t rented it in years– but it’s always deeply stirred me. The first time I saw all the students rush into the street and dance, I cried!

In the past I loved the character Coco and especially her song, “On My Own.”

But this time, I’m connecting with a a different character: Bruno Martelli.

He writes music– but it’s all electronic. He mostly plays in his basement with synthetic keyboards. Coco wants to work with him– but he refuses emphatically. She wants him to be in a band with her, but he hates the idea.

His father is his biggest fan– but Bruno doesn’t feel his music is “ready.”

This time watching, I realized another component.

When the students all run amuck into the street and start dancing and erupting into joy, it’s BRUNO’s song that entices them. His father, a cab driver, had stolen a tape of Bruno’s– his music with Coco singing.

“THAT’S MY SON’S MUSIC!!” his Dad shouts to anyone in the vicinity.

Inside, Bruno hears HIS music and rushes to the street in horror.

Bruno comes outside– and immediately is furious.

All he can notice is that people are hearing HIS music–without his permission! He feels betrayed. (I would too!)

He scolds his father.

His father understands, but tries to make his brilliant but self-loathing son SEE:

“Look at the people! They don’t know it’s not ready! Look at it, they like it!”

The entire street is throbbing with Bruno’s peers, who have made traffic impossible to the point that other drivers become aggressive.

But all Bruno notices is that his father exposed his work without his permission. Instead of standing outside and allowing himself to ENJOY undeniable proof that his work IS ART– and that it’s certifiably “ready,” he just shuts down.

And it’s sad. Because Bruno had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see his art VALIDATED in a way most never will– if he had allowed it. If he had gotten over his ego and noticed that even if he thought his work wasn’t important, everyone else did.

My Dad is a lot like Bruno’s. Always encouraging me. He made copies of every column I printed. I’m always the one saying I don’t have anything to say, that I’m not ready to go back to it.

I’m like Bruno when it comes to my writing. I never feel it’s “ready.” I don’t publish the majority of it.

But one post and one poem and one story at a time, I’m getting over my fears.

Thank you for being those dancers in the street! For the likes, subscriptions– and especially comments.

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