‘A Way Back To Then’ words and music by Jeff Bowen

The Friday Poem this week comes from the one act musical, [title of show], which ran on Broadway for 102 performances in 2008. ‘A Way Back To Then’ was written by Jeff Bowen.

I discovered the words and music while listening to the ‘On Broadway’ channel as we drove across country this week.

This one is for all the dreamers, as a reminder that “when you least expect, opportunity walks through the door…and there you are, right in the middle of what you love…”

‘Finding My Way Back To Then’

Dancing in the backyard
Kool-aid moustache and butterfly wings
Hearing Andrea McArdle sing
From the hi-fi in the den
I’ve been waiting my whole life
To find a way back to then

I aimed for the sky
A nine-year-old can see so far
I’ll conquer the world and be a star
I’ll do it all by the time I’m ten
I would know that confidence
If I knew a way back to then

So I bailed on my hometown
And became a college theatre dork
I was eastbound and down
Moving to New York
So I crammed my life in a U-Haul
To find my part of it all

But the mundane sets in
We play by the rules
And plough through the days
The years take us miles away
From the time we wondered when
We’d find a way back to then

And when you least expect
Opportunity walks through the door
You suddenly connect
With the thing that you forgot
That you were looking for

And there you are
Right in the middle of what you love
With the craziest of company
You’re having a kick-ass time
And being who you wanted to be in this world

You’re that little girl
With her wings unfurled
Flying again
Back in your backyard dancing
I found a way back to then.

SXSW – Creativity and Convergence

This week Austin, Texas is the vortex of the worlds of interactive, film and music. SXSW organizers have created an event that should encourage those who believe the arts are endangered. And for those whose dream job fits into the artistic, entrepreneurial and creative, the Texas state capital is the place to be.

This year Jimmy Kimmel is broadcasting his late night show from Austin and Rand Paul has been showing up at meet ups and receptions.

SXSW was originally staged as a music festival in 1987 and as the Austin economy grew to embrace film and technology companies, SXSW broadened its’ mission adding the interactive and film conferences in 1994. SXSWedu joined the program in 2011 and this year has grown to a four day conference for educators to connect and drive innovation in how we teach and learn.

In an interview with The New York Times, festival director Hugh Forrest described the essence of the festival:“South by Southwest is always about up-and-coming talent, be it a band or filmmaker or technology developer, and that holds true in 2015.”

‘Convergence Day’ provides an opportunity for all attendees to mix at meet ups and panels and discuss cross disciplinary topics including the topic of “Music As Personalized Medicine”.  Using research findings that 18 hours of music a week can have a significant effect on physiology and well-being, “This session will pilot a new technology and begin the largest living experiment to analyze how the music you’re listening to impacts your health.”

There are also practical conversations. Tom Sachs, the internationally-acclaimed contemporary artist and Carter Cleveland, CEO of Artsy discussed ‘Is Good Business the Best Art?’ on Sunday. Their discussion wrestled with the question many face; Can you be successful and not sell your soul?

Current hot industry topics also find a platform with panels on ‘Content, Copyright and Commerce’ and ‘Compensating College Athletes for Their Likeness’.

SXSW is a visible demonstration of barriers collapsing. We live in a multidisciplinary world where imaginative connections create new business opportunities.

While TED in Vancouver is the tightly scripted corporate event, SXSW is organized ‘happenstance’. By bringing together innovators in a variety of creative enterprises, the event captures boundless energy with a soundtrack for the future. It’s March Madness without the brackets.