Jeff Muses on OAP and the Arts

I know that all of us at OAP appreciate the arts on a deep level, and it’s always a joy for us to meet and chat with members of the local arts community. A lot of the OAP crew, besides myself, enjoy being engaged in the creative process. Cait plays the fiddle. I believe Lori makes art on occasion. Sarah is a dancer. Roselle enjoys painting and is experimenting with mosaic.  And Michele, our esteemed office manager, is a professional musician and the contributing events promoter of the Art Beat Foundation.

I have a long and abiding connection with creative people since nearly all arts represented in our May Special were represented in the family I grew up in. My father sang in a band in the early 60’s that recorded some singles but never got off the ground. My mother and sister were both painters. My grandmother had her own non-profit theatre company and wrote, directed, produced, and acted in plays. Her last production was written by my cousin who is also a playwright and actor. My aunt and uncle are active local bay area folk musicians and you can check out how awesome they are here. My other local aunt is a children’s book writer. The only thing missing is a dancer.

Of my closest friends, Gideon is an actor and has been with The Blue Man group for well over a decade. Taylor, who was the best man at my wedding, plays upright bass with a bunch of different bands. He often plays with the US State Department and gets flown all over the world. Most recently he was in Oman. My favorite band of his is Golem, which is klezmer with a sorta punk rock feel. I feel like I can take a little credit for his career since his first band was the punk band I started in high school called Ped Xing (I was the lead singer). One of my other closest friends, John, is a rock musician who currently living and touring in Europe.

Part of my admiration for the arts comes from the courage it takes to make your creative inspiration your profession. As I’ve seen from my family and friends, it comes with many sacrifices. I’ve always dabbled in the arts: I play guitar; I’ve published a couple of articles; I’ve sold a few art pieces in various shows; and, I was even once on TV (but not as an actor)! However, I’ve always known that I lack the talent and conviction to make any one of those my profession. Thankfully, I’m super happy being an acupuncturist and appreciating the arts.

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