Daydream Believer

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, “I’ve always wanted to learn to play the harp!” I get asked this all the time when I’m performing. My response is, “You can! You can take up the harp right now.”

The typical reaction is a shake of the head and a shy, “I’m too old for that,” or “It looks way too hard to play,” or “I’m tone deaf.” But a rare person will say, “Great! Do you teach lessons? How can I get in touch with you?” It’s these rare people who are daydream believers.

Album Cover for the Monkeys Daydream Believer
Love the Monkees hit, “Daydream Believer”

When I first relocated to Northern California, I thought it would be a good idea to join the local Chamber of Commerce. They held a women’s networking luncheon, and I relished the opportunity to get the word out about my availability to perform for special events and weddings.

I expected to be welcomed into the arms of my new community, but one woman tried to rain on my parade. She contorted her face and said, “Well, you’ll never make any money doing that.” I vowed I would prove her wrong. You see, I’m a daydream believer, too.

While rehearsing in preparation for a recording session, one of my ensemble musicians stated flatly, “You don’t have any chance of a Grammy® nod.” I viewed his statement as a challenge. I promised myself I’d get there someday, somehow. I later played on a track for an album that won a Grammy® Award for Best New Age Album, “Winds of Samsara”. I didn’t give up my dream.

Harpist Anne Roos at the Grammys®
Me at the Grammys®

Transforming dreams into reality–I think that’s what life’s all about, because we only go around once. Seeing that vision regularly, and not letting anyone poo-poo it, makes the dream happen. To make room for the dream to happen, I consciously decide to believe in it, I envision it regularly, and I don’t allow anyone to talk me out of it.

The last part of the equation is the part that most people foul up. They are too quick to give up when naysayers scoff at their dreams. So they bottle them up and don’t share them for fear of embarrassment.

But the key ingredient is to share dreams, because my true friends will encourage me and help me see them through. They’ll come to my aid. They also believe that anything is possible. They are daydream believers, as well.

I always have a dream in my pocket, ready to share. Would you like to read about one of my current dreams? Okay, here goes, but the deal is that you must also share your dreams below in the comment section. Maybe the little growing community that is reading this blog can even help you to make your dreams come true!

Here it is: I want to play in a TV talk show band. Are you laughing? Then you aren’t a believer.

This has actually been done before, in the short-lived talk show comedy farce, Primetime Glick, which ran from 2001 to 2003. Martin Short played the buffoon host, Jiminy Glick. Michael McKean, who in real life is an accomplished guitarist, played Adrien Van Voorhees, Jiminy’s sidekick, a harpist and bandleader sporting a fake orange tan.

Did Michael McKean actually play the harp? No, but he sure made it look like he did. In an interview he said, “The harp is insanely hard.” (I disagree, but he is entitled to his opinion.)

Check out that harpist bandleader in this opening monologue from a vintage episode of Primetime Glick!

No, I don’t want to be a harpist bandleader. But I do want to sit in with the band, be a member of a troupe that provides cool music for commercial breaks and backup for guest vocalists.

Give me a chord chart, I can read it. Give me a genre–rock, pop, classical, you name it–and I’ll jump in.

Can I play on TV? Sure. I’m happy doing silly stunts. Here’s a sample for you: Live elevator music!

How can I transform my newest dream into reality? I haven’t the faintest idea how it will happen. But then, I didn’t know how I’d get to the Grammys, and that happened.

I’ve tweeted to established talk show hosts, with no response (their “people” no doubt intercepted and deleted my requests, labeling them as insane). Perhaps, dear readers, you have connections. Do you have friends in the daytime or evening talk show biz seeking an extra musical touch?

Remember, I’m totally serious here.

Now it’s your turn. Include your dream below. I’ll take it to heart, and maybe our community of readers will wave their magic wands and make your dreams come true, too. Thank you for taking part in this conversation. (Visit my website for more good stuff, and join my email list. Keep in touch!)

8 Comments

  1. My daydream is to record a CD in memory of my deceased husband and the wonderful, compassionate and loving response of family and friends. It’s been a year and time to get on with this daydream.

  2. I find that my dreams are ever changing, I never fulfill them, but they are the fuel for whatever progress I make.

  3. I am a self-taught harper with limited natural ability and barrel of bad harping habits. My daydream is to play harp therapy well enough for neighbors to call when it’s near their loved one’s passing and say “Theresa, it’s time…can you come?” That kind of trust can’t be bought. I’m 63, still practicing and studying. I’ll get there.

    • You’ll definitely get there! No one will be critical of your harping technique when you play for hospice and near the end of one’s time–They’ll love the music. Please keep in touch about your progress 🙂

  4. Anne, thanks again for the inspiration! As for me, I’m currently in the trenches of my own dream – left my office job early last year (on the verge of a breakdown) and began life as a full time therapeutic harp student. But in November, just after having begun my internship playing weekly at a nursing home, I got hit hard with carpal tunnel syndrome and had to slam on the brakes. The road to recovery, complete with frustrations of having to backtrack my progress, is why it feels like the “trenches”. I’m not where I’d hoped I’d be by now, but I *am* making progress! As I recover physically, I’ve also developed as a harp teacher with two students and a prospective third!

    PS: I can so see you as part of the band on a TV talk show! 🙂

    • Hi Sharon! First of all, thank you for your vote of confidence about playing as part of a TV talk show band! Hard to foster those connections, but you never know. So glad you made a break from the impossible office job, but I’m sorry you’ve suffered with carpal tunnel syndrome. Pace yourself and take care, and you’ll get back in the groove of things. Thank you for commenting. I appreciate you spreading the word!

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