Back for more, are you? Last year’s 12 days of Cellomas focused on practice habits, and looking back on them, they’re pretty good! This year, I’ve collected some stories and will share some of my own complete and utter, wish-you-could-turn-back-time, ears turning red, find-me-a-place-to-hide regrettable experiences. Since my disasters usually had a gallery of witnesses, there’s no hiding for me. Some of my other colleagues want to be anonymous, so I’ve changed relevant details here and there.

One more thing: the labels for each post correspond to a signature line from the movie that cheers me through every Holiday season: A Christmas Story.

Ok, so…On the first day of Cellomas, my teacher told to me:

Don’t scheme like you’re a Survivor contestant. You will regret it.

I knew this guy who was obsessive about everything. Let’s call him Jerry. He was in love with every man in the department and even tried luring my boyfriend at the time away with alcohol and sedatives. He was an average instrumentalist, but since there weren’t many of his instrument at our school, he was first chair for a while…until Chris came along. Chris, also a gay man, was a stellar player and was well liked and not on the prowl. This caused some real stress for the one-time principal. So contorted by jealousy and despair was Jerry that he connected with some of the local lowlifes and arranged for all of Chris’ instruments to be stolen out of his locker during the night. Of course, someone saw the instruments barely concealed under a blanket in his hatchback, and Jerry was lucky to avoid a felony charge. Although he finished his degree, it was mainly at community colleges and if I remember correctly, there were only 3 people at his senior recital, including the guy who was paid to record it. To this day, everyone thinks of him as the desperate guy who went crazy instead of working harder to be a better person. He will never work in LA, that’s for sure.

There are more stories like this, where seemingly normal musicians go out of their minds because of inner struggles. The answer is always this: be quiet, practice hard, wait your turn. I didn’t always follow this advice, and although I didn’t do anything as exciting as steal instruments, there are a few instances when my mouth was operating in advance of my brain, to the detriment of my musical life. Not every story in this series will be so tantalizing, but it’s amazing to look back upon such scandalous behavior.

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