I got asked again the other night whether the mirror in The Cavern (our most popular rehearsal studio) was actually two way glass and if there might be a secret room behind it.  I wish!  Wouldn’t that be awesome?  If it was some secret place where high level record company execs hid out and watched your rehearsals to hopefully discover “the next big thing”?  Sipping coffee in expensive suits, staring at you while you were completely unaware of their presence, all the while taking notes on how they can kick start your path to rock n roll world domination.

Yep.  That’d definitely be cool.

And if they were there, imagine the talent that would get paraded in front of them day after day.  They could have their pick of the cream of Northern Beaches musicians.  If they didn’t like what they heard, no harm, no foul.  They wouldn’t have to talk to you.  You’d never even know they were there.  If they did, they could just strut in with a business card and tell you to give them a call.

Or it could be an awesome space for a mixing room.  Hidden away behind the scenes, plugged directly into the room and ready to roll.  Out of sight and out of mind so you could just get on with playing rather than get freaked out by staring in at an engineer while they track your recordings.  But the engineer could see you so he can tell when you’re comfortable and ready to start recording.

Hell, even if it was just some storage space it would be great but alas, no.  It’s just a mirror.  Behind it is a solid concrete wall.  Behind that is a few million tonnes of soil that has a school oval on top of it.

Over the years the temptation to dig out a hole for just such a room has been there.  We’d never get away with it of course.  St Luke’s Grammar school is unlikely to give it the go ahead.  Their oval, their land, their dirt.  Not to mention the work that would be involved.  You’d have to pull it off in a “The Great Escape” style, possibly with spoons and removing dirt by shoving it in bags down your pants.

I have to admit it’s a groovy idea.  But sorry folks, it ain’t gonna happen.  And even if it did, the likelihood of it having around-the-clock A&R reps sitting in there, checking out your music is probably a little slim.  We haven’t had one come into the studio yet and we’ve been here a long time.  (Kind of baffled why not though.  Seems the perfect opportunity to me.)

No, it will stay being just a mirror.  It’s for you to look at yourself in.  Hopefully you’ll love the reflection you’re seeing of you performing music.  Doing what you love.

I’m not a big fan of that mirror to be honest.  It freaks me out a bit.  I see my flaws more than I see my strengths when I’m performing into it.  Not that that’s such a bad thing.  It does help you correct some things before taking it to the stage but some people (such as myself) overlook all the good stuff that’s going on and narrowly focus in on what they think doesn’t look right or isn’t “good enough”.  Though I do know that that mentality isn’t good.  I know that it’s fear based.  It’s unproductive, bordering on cruel.  It’s encouraging self-loathing.  It’d be so nice to look in the mirror and truly see someone that you’re proud of, that you love unconditionally, that you believed was “good enough”.  So many of us don’t.  We’ll look into a mirror for the briefest time possible and it’s always about some sort of maintenance thing.  Hair, makeup, clothing, squeezing a zit.  We don’t really look at ourselves and the people we are on the inside.  It’s all about how we appear to everyone else.  When was the last time you were able to look at yourself without diverting your eyes?  Holding eye contact in the same way you would if it were another person standing in front of you?

I guess you can only ask so much of a mirror, it’s just a piece of reflective glass after all.  But can you see into your soul with it?  Given that you know more about the person you’re seeing in that reflection than you do about any other in the world, I’d say that you probably can… kind of.

I judge the person I see in there far too harshly.  I treat him worse than I treat anyone else.  I have higher expectations of him than I do of anyone else.  I get more disappointed by his actions and his inactions than I do anyone else.  I rarely give him the love and respect he deserves.  I criticise him.  Mock him.  Tell him to suck it up and get on with it.  I refuse to comfort him when he’s in pain or reward his triumphs.

I’m a mean son of a bitch to that guy.

Especially when it comes to music.  I can watch him in that mirror, trying his best to perform something and I can be absolutely hating his guts.  I want to smack him, shake him, ask him why the hell he can’t do that better.

If I was watching someone else from behind that mirror in that little room that doesn’t exist.  I can’t imagine myself ever being so harsh or cruel.  I would never want to tear apart the dreams of another human being in that way.  I’d want to lift them up, help them be all they can be, reach for the stars.

But not that guy.  He doesn’t get my help, just my scorn.

I really wish there was a room behind that mirror.  I’d bet that if there was, someone would be behind there clapping at the end of everyone’s songs, cheering us all on, being touched by our music and our performances.  Someone who might be a little more caring looking back in than we are when we’re looking at ourselves.