After a Battle in France in February I was licking my wounds in Paris. So I went to the Hotel Invalides. The displays of weapons of war, stories of war and having felt like I was in a war had congruence somehow. I had been in another war in the last few years and being an immigrant to Canada leaving all work behind and security has been... A prompt for songwriting.
Now I think I need to simply recognise that, for me, what I do is a battle. A battle for the mind. And maybe in this space my faith is being grown.
CROSSING THE RUBICON
Julius Caesar was coming back towards Rome. He knew by law that he was not allowed to cross the Rubicon River with his army.
He was cross. His Governorship of a Province had ended and The Senate ordered him to disband his army and come to Rome. Crossing the Rubicon is linked to a point of no return. It is reported he said back then as he led his army across the river. The Die Is Cast.
So he broke that rule around 10th January 49 BC and came in with his army and took control.
Gently and quietly today I cross my Rubicon and prepare for the battle to come. The Rubicon of moving from writing about what I was planning to do and why, to - completing work and sharing it...
And to recognise, and let go of a part of my character that doesn't contribute, my Little Nicky, Let it go. It might sound silly, but it's big stuff for me.
PREPARE FOR BATTLE
It’s October 2022. For over twenty years I have been developing, what I like to think of, as a Treasure Trove of material. I am a storyteller.
At our dinner table I can have you laugh. Christiane has been beside me for fifteen of these years. She has a story to tell. My son is 14, he is increasingly frustrated by his father's failure to release anything of the work he daily creates.
I’ve created a world within a world at LID OFF THE BOX that is part theatre, part music and part breakthrough pyschology. It is all mixed into an epic battle of good versus evil. A battle that mirrors challenges we face over the centuries in our society of the day. It’s grounded in the battle for the mind. It centres on my quest to find freedom and live in hope. Because it is good versus evil, it incorporates, by necessity for me, faith.
I’ve been in the loop of how to present all of this for many years, creating more snippets of code for the story as I go.
This avoidance strategy, a dream never tested never dies, has been singularly effective.
Fear. Fear of: how to do it, somebody will steal it, it’s not good enough, can’t afford or trust help, people will laugh, I will be told off, etc., etc… You know, the same old stories. So I've been a one man army. It takes time. And I needed someone to give me permission. Nuts? Just do it. Indeed. The battle for the mind… The battle to step, look silly, get better, win, loose, learn and somehow make a difference in someone’s world for good. Or not, but to have tried anyway.
My past name and accomplishments held me and I have always sought to break free of this. Yet I ruminate in this past rewriting my WHY over and over. Here I do it again. Rather than finish mixing the song and releasing it…
I like reminiscing though. I have some fun stories. But what about new stories? LID OFF THE BOX gives opportunities for the Little Nicky to feature, that child in the man that somehow never grew up from his hurt.
In the Bible it says.
Philippians 3:13-14 KJV
"But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Thirty seven years ago I got faith. I’m a slow learner. I’m being gently prompted to step more into who I am as a man of faith. It is imbued within this work.
So I step over that Rubicon today of owning up to that.
I do not think I can make this journey without standing on and building my faith. So that is a part of who I am. It's almost like 'coming out' in the entertainment world. But hey, I'm finding who I serve and I'm accountable to. It makes a difference to me. It also identifies the enemy clearly and... Well I don't want to be in a holy huddle or be simply a Christian Artist (nothing wrong with that but I've got a wish not to be pigeon holed) and I'm not called to write God songs. Although God turns up of course at times. When we're up against it he tends to say hello to me.
You have no idea how difficult that is to write.
Nicky Slater - as a name - has always been an issue. It's the 'Little Nicky' part that trips me up. Great for comedy but it's a stop to being who I can be now.
WHAT'S IN A NAME
So now I step back from that Nicky Slater for a while (or maybe permanently) as a performance and writing name, and will hand you over to:
NICKSTIR - a nickname - will be my writing, artist and performance persona.
FRANK SPEAKER - the one and only who finds himself as The Manager.
DR NICK - who created B A VIP, and has a knack for making complex simple.
You will also meet support characters on our journey.
It is going to be a battle because I know, tomorrow, I will think of a million reasons to change this and go back into the loop, or forget about it.
So the battle is to go with this. Move on... Rubicon behind. Die cast. Doing this on your own, when your own mind can argue against you is a battle in itself...
Perhaps you will see why we call this escapade - Making Crazy Work?
I hope it blesses your journey in someway. I hope to encourage anyone who has something they want to go for... to step. We get one life.
Dr Nicholas Slater (Hons) MA
25 October 2022