The weird thing about having written this blog for almost two years is that now people write to ask my opinion on things, or to see if I’m going to write a post about something Jason Mraz said/did/wore/wrote/sung/ate.
I try to respond to everyone personally, but I’ve fallen behind because work has been more work-like lately, so I’ll take a minute to answer a few questions that keep coming up.
1. Why am I traveling all over the place to see Jason? How can I afford it? And just how many shows have I seen?
First, let me say that I don’t see myself following Jason around, so much as he’s given me a reason to get off the couch and spend time with the people I care about, as far away as some may be. For the past few years I’ve told people I would visit and thought about making plans, but it was never a good time, or I didn’t want to spend the money, or I was just lazy about it.
In the last few months though, I’ve realized that if the friendships matter to me, I need to put in as much love and energy as I want to get out, and sometimes that means getting on a plane and going to Jacksonville, Florida, even though I would rather be going to Rome or Sydney or Hershey, PA. (Why can’t any of my friends live in Chocolate Town?)
So when the fall tour dates came out I thought, why not do my own tour, spend time with the friends I haven’t seen in months or years, and take them to see a show and experience the Mraz love?
To me, this is the Old Friends Reunion Tour of 2008. Or Togetherness, Oneness and Nostalgia ’08. Or whatever you want to call it when you get to fly a thousand miles or more to hug someone you met on the first day of class your freshman year of college when he was a skinny kid and who now has a beautiful wife, gorgeous baby girl, a dog, a cat, a house (with a scary basement), and the waistline of a 30-year-old suburban dad, and who you haven’t seen in six years.
It’s been a really good time, and I have Jason to thank for the kick in the ass it took to get me to do it.
Back to the tour details: I’m hitting six shows on this tour and I did three earlier this year. This is the most I’ve ever done in one tour. Altogether, I’ve seen him maybe 20 times? My first show was back in 2003 when he toured with Maroon 5 and my friends, Kerry and Steve, and I drove from Boston to Providence for the show. I think it was only a few months later he headlined his own show in Boston and we took more friends to that.
I worked for a travel company once and am lucky enough to still have connections to help me out with flights and hotel rooms. Also, I’m single, childless and making decent money for someone in her early 30s, so I have the luxury of time and disposable income. Take that, breeders! 🙂
2. Do you know everything about Jason?
Nah. I like him a lot, appreciate his music, his humor and his thoughts, but I don’t care about what he does off stage or out of the studio. I don’t care whether he’s with Tristan or Colbie or a local avocado farmer or taking up residency with monks. When people email me with dirty details about him, I delete them. It’s not my business, and if that’s what you’re looking for, start your own blog.
I’ve never stood outside a concert hall after a show hoping he would come out. I’ve never followed his bus around. When he walked by line of fans waiting outside the SF show last spring, singing with Bushwalla, I enjoyed the few moments he was nearby and the joyful energy he was sending out, but didn’t go running after him to get photos or ten seconds of footage to stick on YouTube.
And no, I have never met him.
3. What’s up with Jason’s blog post telling fans to stay away from him?
I don’t think that’s exactly what he’s saying. I think he’s politely baffled at why, after pouring his soul out on stage, people still think that touching him or getting a picture with him will be a more intimate experience. Maybe he’s naive (or maybe he’s just being a guy) to not get that girls are collectors. Relationships and experiences don’t count if you don’t have a souvenir to prove they happened. A sensory, up-close, physical encounter is better than an abstract experience, and physical proof is even better than that.
(And no, not all girls are like this, I’m just making broad generalizations because I have to be in a meeting in 10 minutes and don’t have time to edit.)
Let me sum it up like this, and put it in bold for those who are just skimming:
As much as I admire Jason Mraz, I admire the man he aspires to be even more – the kind of thoughtful, engaged, innovative, caring, aware human being we should all aspire to be.
And for that, I don’t need to meet him or touch him or find out what kind of toothpaste he uses. I just need to listen to him, and other singers and writers and President-elects that I admire, and think about how I can incorporate their ideas and ideals into the life I want to create for myself.
Jason Mraz the Artist is happy to give his all during a show, to create new music to share with his grateful fans. But Jason Mraz the Regular Guy wants some space to himself. I don’t think that’s asking a lot, considering all he gives. I think he says it beautifully himself:
“I’m not the person you want to meet. The music is. And the music is alive in you as much as it is in me. We created it together. Therefore, you already know me. We’ve already hugged and kissed. We grew close for a moment and then said our goodbyes. ”