The Importance of Now

May 3rd, 2012 | Narciso Tovar | 14 Comments

Dick Clark was the face of American BandstandAlthough I was too young to write cursive, I can recall the first time music had a profound impact on my life.

I was in my San Antonio living room on a Saturday afternoon, probably wearing my Speed Buggy or Roger Staubach t-shirt – those details are a little fuzzy right now, for obvious reasons.

And then it happened.

I saw a five-piece band from Indiana with remarkable showmanship, matching outfits, fun (to me) hair and one of the catchiest tunes I had heard in my “long” five years of age.

And because it was on American Bandstand, it was easy for me to jam along to.

I was mesmerized.

Who is this younger kid and how can he move like that?

No, wait… they’re all moving together…! …

as if they choreographed it…! …

And then Dick Clark interviewed them. They were a bunch of softball questions, but certainly good enough to get a feel for Jermaine, Tito and young Michael.

But the nice fella steering the show was unforgettable.

Dick Clark was like that super sweet n’ cool uncle who always paid attention to you at family get-togethers and was cool enough to be silly with you and make a fool of himself.

Heck, even my Mom liked him…which was sort of his point.

And

although American Bandstand had been on for many years by then, Dick Clark was still savvy enough to capture, for the show, the best sounds and entertainers … for that moment.

Since the beginning, he was smart enough to bring on the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Gloria Gaynor, ABBA and the Sylvers (yes, The Sylvers).

They may not be on the charts today, but Clark knew that these acts were the very best of their time, and encapsulated a significant part of pop culture in their day.

American Bandstand leveraged the idea that good music bridges lots of generation and culture gaps. Everyone loves music and everyone loves to dance (at the very least, tap their toes to the music). Let’s face it: even if you can’t dance, you. Like. To. Dance.

Although he was a smart guy, I seriously doubt Clark knew that what he began in 1956 would have such a tremendous impact on pop culture and the music business. Shows like Soul Train and Solid Gold continued in the tradition of what Clark began; capturing the excitement of now.

And no one could have guessed that his influence would have reached us today through institutions like MTV, the American Music Awards, the Golden Globes and American Idol.

Like American Bandstand, Every. One. Of. These. Shows. Captures. Moments… Perfectly.

Check It. You can make this happen too. Right. Now.

Remember that fun idea that you concocted over the holidays? The one that kept you up all night, got you all worked up and planning out on how you’d spend that first million?

Well, some other fella out of Minneapolis is testing it (or some other version of it)… right now… in three markets.

What happened?

He rolled the dice and bet on himself. Will he make a million dollars or get on the cover of TIME? Will this idea be a *total game-changer* in the industry?

It doesn’t matter, because you have to admire the person who embraces the power of now, even if that person is, by all accounts, a butthead.

So.

You’re not a butthead. What’s going on with you now?

The first quarter of 2012 is done.

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along?  How many books have you read? Have you begun working on that screenplay yet? How many times have you picked up that guitar?

You don’t have to change the world – you don’t even have to come close. But you can certainly change your own part of the world… today.

What are you doing about it… right… now?

Image: trainman74 via Flickr, CC 2.0

Narciso Tovar

With more than 16 years of communications experience, Narciso Tovar is a principal of Big Noise Communications, a PR + Social Media agency that runs on Method + Moxie.  He is both a teacher & student in external communications and social media, serving as a mentor and sponge as new ideas are developed, and shares his thoughts on Method + Moxie.  Narciso has launched and worked with a variety of companies, including Vonage, the GreenBuilt Parade of Homes, Verizon and The Wall Street Journal Online.


 

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13 comments
KirkHazlett
KirkHazlett

Saul Bellow got it right ever so many years ago with his novel "Seize the Day." Or, in more definitive terms, "He who hesitates is lost." Dick Clark did, indeed, see the opportunity, seize the opportunity, and secure his place in history. Great post, Narciso. Thanks for a timely reminder to all of us of the need to ACT (with some due diligence up front, of course) NOW!

rachaelseda
rachaelseda

Aww what a nice little kick in the butt, ehh? Keeping up with it all and then life seems to be overwhelming at times but I am doing some things I said I would and now I need to focus on doing the others. Great post Narciso!

tressalynne
tressalynne

Love it, Narciso! Imagining you in Speed Buggy Underros playing with your Stretch Armstrong doll LOL. But seriously, my mother has battled a rare form of cancer twice now in the past 3 years. While she's currently cancer free, it will come back, and each time the chemo will be worse on her and less effective on the cancer. It's things like this that make us all realize how short our time is and how much we should make of it!  On that note, my husband and I have put off vacationing (due to the economy) the past several years; however, in this new light, we've booked a family vacation with my sister's family (and nieces) and Mom--you never know if this may be the last opportunity to do so. Again, good post!

JGarant
JGarant

Nice post Narciso! It certainly is all about now ... so for the first quarter of 2012 I left my role in Australia and am currently half way around the world pursing my dream in New York. Whether it works out or not, I'm so glad that I made the decision and am chasing that dream - no regrets. Now is an amazing time! "The future is always beginning now" ~ Mark Strand.

KDillabough
KDillabough

I'm going on what I'm calling my "Ernest Hemingway writing retreat", to write and write and write and write, to make it happen. Great post Narcisco. All the visualizing and thinking about it won't make it happen. We have to DO. I'm in a state of DO. Cheers Kaarina

Narciso17
Narciso17

Thanks @KirkHazlett - Hesitation Leaves Room for Doubt.  And you're Right, You Want to Seize Opportunities...But You Also Want to Be Smart About It...Going Into Something 'Willie-Nille' Isn't Going to Do You Any Favors.  Because, After All, a Little Preparation Goes a Long Way!

 

Narciso Tovar

Big Noise Communications

 @narciso17 

 

Narciso17
Narciso17

 Thanks, @rachaelseda - Sometimes We All Need a Little Kick in the Butt, Right? More Often Than not, Compacency Sets In With Me...Cause It's So Easy...Flying on 'Automatic Pilot' Is Easy...It's Those Times When We Start to Carve Out a New Path That New Memoreis and Sensations Come Into Play.

 

I Don't Know About You, But the More I do That, The More Happy I Get!

 

Now, If Only I Could Do That...all The Time  ;)

 

Narciso Tovar

Big Noise Communications

 @narciso17  

 

Narciso17
Narciso17

 Life is So Precious, @tressalynne - While I am Very Sorry to Hear About Your Mother's Condition, I Applaud Your Efforts to Cherish Your Mother ... Every Second of Every Day. I Can Tell You That When My Father Was Diiagnosed With Cancer, Making the Move From NYC to Be With Him Through Treament Was The Best Thing I Could've Done - Our Relationship Grew Stronger and We Found New Ways to Love One Another (Truly).

 

Looking at the NOW is Essential ...Even Though It Can Be Hard...Especially As We Plan Our Lives.  But the More We Pounce on What We Have In Front of Us (Our Family, Our Friends, Our Passions), the More We Can At Least Savor Those Moments.

 

With That in Mind, Here's to Having the Vacation of a Lifetime This Summer  :)

 

Narciso Tovar

Big Noise Communications

 @narciso17  

 

Narciso17
Narciso17

That...Is...Awesome @JGarant - Diving In Head First With Your Passion is Important! Even If You 'Fail' in Your Attempt, You'll At Least be Able to Walk Away With No Regrets...And a Lesson or Two From It...PLUS, I'm Sure That (If It Doesn't 'Work Out' The Way You Envisioned) Other Oppty's Will Follow...Quite Possibly Even Bigger Ones...!

 

"Stay Gold, Pony Boy." (The Outsiders)

 

Narciso Tovar

Big Noise Communications

 @narciso17  

 

 

Narciso17
Narciso17

 I'm Glad You Dug It @KDillabough - I Think That Far Too Often We Let 'Tasks' Get in the Way of Purpose...Myself Included.  I Can Honestly Say That There Are a Handful of Things That I Let Get in the Way of My Purpose...So, Any Way That I Can Make Things More Focused on Purpose (For Myself or a Buddy Like Yourself), It Makes Me Think That I'm At Least Heading the Right Direction  :)

 

Here's To You Writing Something That Would Make Hemingway Proud  :)

 

Narciso Tovar

Big Noise Communications

 @narciso17  

 

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