Here’s the Story….
The Birthday Girl is in the center (in red). Her name is Alice. Alice told her friends that what “she” wanted for her birthday was to make other people “happy” and that it would mean ALOT to her if they would join her and go around the different rooms at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, California to the patients rooms that were in difficult situations that could really use a little happiness and help them out. But initially, she contacted the hospital, and ASKED what they needed, and unfortunately due to regulations and guidelines, the gracious contact mentioned she couldn’t really come and volunteer without being tested for various things or just come as a one time situation. Alice, slightly disappointed, then asked them if they could think of ANYYYYYTHING that could help and hesitantly the lady on the phone mentioned, “Welllll, there is 1 thing…, fairly certain it was asking too much.” Relentless, Alice asked, “Well, what is it?” The lady mentioned that they get ALOT of carolers during the holidays, but the rest of the year is pretty bleak, and if they could somehow find a way to sing to the patients it would be great. The lady did not know she was talking to a singer (a damn good one) and that the group of friends she would later assemble would all turn out to be working artists, singers and performers. Alice lit up and coyly mentioned that she things she can figure something out ; ).
Everyone in this video is not only a performer but many make their living off their singing, acting, and musical talents. True to her humble nature Alice didn’t mention to the hospital her accolades or those of the people joining her. In fact, the duality of the situation made it all the more exciting for her.
I got the call the day before, asking if I could play percussion for the girls. Alice rarely asks for anything and she mentioned how important it was to her. Needless to say, playing for a bunch of beautiful girls was not the WORST way I could think of to spend the afternoon ; ). With no rehearsal, we met at the hospital.
Our host and tour guide (a volunteer himself) at the hospital was hilarious, good natured, and welcoming. He did prep us that there is no telling whether certain patients facing difficult and dire situations would be welcoming to a bunch of strangers singing to them.
We sang on 3 floors and some of the responses we saw were too beautiful for words. This video is the the last song we sang in the lobby because by this time the nurses and doctors and hospital staff were also feeling in much better spirits and asked if we would perform one more time in the lobby. : )
Fyi – the part where the girls leave they make a conga line with patients and staff – I couldn’t get up lol – someone had to hold down the fort.