No surprise that a mere 12 months can’t contain all that Prince is! There were so many more themes I wished I could’ve explored. Here are seven of the themes I’d definitely put on the list if I ever did a second year of living like Prince.
Dance It Out
Dance lessons would be on the agenda in a second year. Dancing is something I love but I’ve never been a natural. Even Prince took dance lessons, back in the early 80s when he was preparing for the “1999” tour. For me, learning a dance from another culture – like salsa dancing – could be especially fun.
Learn an Instrument
Prince played most instruments, with the exception of horns. I play three: guitar, clarinet and piano. They’ve gone by the wayside over the years, though. The one I miss the most is piano. It would be fun to pick up piano again!
Record a Song
The process of recording is something I’ve never fully understood. Musicians and engineers have described it to me, but it’s like having someone tell you about driving a car. You can hear someone describe turning the car on, putting it into gear, using the speedometer and turn signals, but until you try it yourself, you can’t really understand it. In 2019, I really hoped to get into a recording studio and watch a musician at work, but that is a big ask of someone! The opportunity didn’t surface in 2019 but I’d definitely find a way to make it happen in a second year of living like Prince.
Mentor a Protege or Protegee
Prince had many proteges during his life and especially in his 40s and 50s, he mentored many younger artists. Mentoring is incredibly rewarding and that feeling of paying it forward is unbeatable. In a second year, I would find a young writer to encourage and nurture.
Go on Tour
Prince staged massive tours, and I’d do this one my way. I’d plan to visit a few cities and meet up with friends I know online. After the pandemic, who isn’t craving some face-to-face interaction!
Host a Party (and Watch from the Balcony)
When Prince moved back home to Minnesota in 2013, he started hosting parties at Paisley Park that offered fans unprecedented access to a star of his stature. Prince would often watch the parties from up high, in the catwalks. In a second year, I’d love to set up a party, then step into the background and observe.
Call Old Friends
People say one of the biggest regrets they have at the end of their lives is losing touch with friends. Near the end of his life, Prince made it a point to reach out to old friends. Without getting into the question of whether or not Prince knew (subconsciously or consciously) that he wouldn’t be around much longer, calling old friends is always a good idea. I’d make a list of half a dozen friends I haven’t talked to in a while, set up a call and get caught up.
Practice a Lot
Journalist Adrian Deevoy interviewed Prince in 1994 for “Q,” a prominent music magazine back then. Of that interview, Deevoy said, “Prior to meeting with Prince, people routinely told me that their charge was an instrument of God. So it seemed only fair to ask Prince if he was a conduit for a higher power. `No,’ he replied, `I just practice a lot.’”
There’s a reminder here too that practice can be playful! In a second year, I’d dedicate time to practicing a creative endeavor, like the watercolor painting class I took in March 2019. I went into that class with low (or no) expectations of myself. I didn’t intend to turn it into a money-making venture. I didn’t even expect it to be a hobby long-term. That attitude gave me free reign to have fun.