[Flash Fiction] Sing-Alongs, Impromptu Dances, and Smiles

This is where I started—on the cold streets of New York, with the subway station to my right and a homeless man to my left. For years, this view of concrete and brick was my view as I hopped on the A train away from Brooklyn. I had a corner of Manhattan where I set up my guitar and sign: PAYMENT ACCEPTED IN SING-ALONGS, IMPROMPTU DANCES, AND SMILES.

Every morning, I drew a crowd, singing, dancing and sprinting off to work. During the lunch hour, someone would offer me a hot cup of coffee. In the evenings, I packed up my guitar, wondering if Times Square would ever play my music.

Today, I set up my guitar on that Manhattan corner, across from a billboard with my face plastered on it. Pulling my baseball cap lower, I strummed the strings as the subway trains harmonized around me. No pressure to churn out hit singles, no pressure to acquiesce to industry trends.

Today, it was just me, my guitar, and the corner where I started.

© Jade M. Wong 2017


Photo: Sunayana MoiPensieve

 Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Inspired partly by the time Lindsey Stirling, one of my favorite violinists of this era, played in a (New York!) subway station in disguise. I included the video below for those interested. 

Unfortunately, I have no idea what I was doing at that time because I was not at that subway station! Ever since I missed Lindsey, I keep an eye out for all the subway musicians to see if any of them are in disguise too. You never know, guys!

Also, the shots of people listening to their earphones or immersed in their phones while Lindsey is playing so beautifully around them, really speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

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47 thoughts on “[Flash Fiction] Sing-Alongs, Impromptu Dances, and Smiles

  1. Lovely take. I can’t imagine what the pressure to churn out hits must be like but it would sure be wonderful to play for the love of playing and have others join in 🙂

    Jade, I am leaving a link to my YouTube video in the comments. Thank you for checking it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow talented woman Jade. Your piece is creative I love it. The idea of people singing along and harmonizing even, gives me this picture. It’s like we miss all those old musicals and movies with singing and dancing we’re missing that to some degree in the modern world. Beautiful piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “No pressure to churn out hit singles, no pressure to acquiesce to industry trends.”

    Yes! Love it, Jade. ❤ And isn’t it a waste when hear these independent musicians perform a looot better and more soulful than the mainstream artists we have today?

    P.S. Cheering for you to see Lindsey one day! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is a waste. I’ve also witnessed a lot of really talented musicians make it big and then change their music and style to fit in with mainstream trends, which is a different kind of sad 😦

      Aww thank you ❤ You’ll be one of the first to know if I ever do!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree—there are definitely a lot of superbly talented street musicians, some arguably even more talented than the musicians who made it big.

      I’m glad the story left you with a smile. That’s a job well done, I think 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s always good to go back to your roots and do what you love simply for the purpose of enjoying it! Otherwise it’ll get too much. I wonder how many well-known musicians have done this… and how many were spotted!

    (On another note – I love love loved Linsey Sterling’s cover of Assassin’s Creed. I think she did one for Dragon Age: Inquisition as well, but I can’t remember.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg I know the Assassin’s Creed cover you’re talking about. I also loved her Lord of the Rings medley cover. Lindsey is just amazing ❤

      Can you imagine just going about your normal commute and finding out later that you walked right past [insert insanely famous musician here] without realizing it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. AHCK YES. My inner LoTR fangirl (read: initially mostly Legolas xD) was over the moon when she played it! I am glad she used stunt violins for some of her shots though, couldn’t bear the thought of putting them through wear and tear…

        Oh, I’d be so mortified if I ever did that. It’d make for a fun experience – and a story to tell after.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. OMG I LOVE LEGOLAS ❤ He’s my favorite and every time I marathon the movies, my inner fangirl falls in love with him all over again.

          I don’t think I was aware that she used stunt violins! But it makes sense.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. HE’S SO GORGEOUS ❤ And actually very Captain Obvious in the movies, but that adds to his charm. In the books he’s a bit of a deadpan snarker. I have the same thing too – my love for him cools off into admiration, then I re-watch LOTR and re-starts the chain again. Orlando Bloom was gorgeous as a blonde – when I found out he wasn’t when I was younger, I was very disappointed. Me neither, at first, but her violin-playing skills are quite good as well.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. That really was an interesting take. It would be like Bob Dylan going back to the Village to play at some dive club in 2017 (although I’m sure the Village is a lot more upscale than it used to be).

    Liked by 1 person

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