Crisscross: (v) to move back and forth over
If you live long enough that you can transform your stupidities into learning experiences, and then implement fresh ideas, by the end it looks like you were really ingenious and had a great plan.
That statement truly sums up my life.
Graduating from high school, I decided I wanted to be a musician, writer and artist.
No one else agreed. Especially no one who was willing to lay down the money so that I could continue my quest.
Rather than perching in my hometown, where everybody knew me and had already drawn an opinion that I needed to “get a job and be normal,” I climbed into my not-so-worthy van with two comrades, and we began to crisscross the country.
I could probably boast that I had formulated an outline in my mind.
But basically, after a few months it all boiled down to money.
As far as I know, our little group became the first people in America to be involved in crowdfunding.
At least three or four nights a week, we stood in front of neutral, if not hostile, audiences, and made our case for our music and mission.
And then we passed the plate.
If a plate was not available, we were certainly willing to use a hat.
Through this we learned three things:
- It doesn’t do any good to crisscross the country if you’re going into areas that are resistant
- You should go back to receptive areas, continuing your work, as long as they remain open.
- After you crisscross the country to an area that is open, when you get in front of those people, remember the two most important factors necessary for drawing others:
Be endearing and be enduring
Make it clear that you realize you’re a human being—susceptible to the same shit they are.
But also let them know that you’ve been traveling for a good while, and you have no intention of giving up on the idea that we all can do better
When an audience is convinced of these two things, they open up their wallets. It has to be real and it has to have some proof—other than just your assertion.
I have crisscrossed this country forty or fifty times over my journey.
Through that experience, I really did learn to love America—whether it’s red, blue or sometimes even when it’s colorless.