Happy Clam Face

James Levine has his critics. They say his downbeat is unclear; he talks too much; he calls the chorus to a two-hour rehearsal to sing for five minutes. But one thing no one can question is Jimmy’s passion. I mean, look at the guy.

Source: The New York Times

The montage above is missing my favorite Jimmy expression, what I call his “happy clam face.” When Jimmy’s heard a particular phrase or section of music that particularly pleases him, he breaks out into a dopey grin from ear to ear, his face turns bright red, and he shakes his head as if to say, “This is the most amazing, glorious, awesome music EVER!”

Jimmy is one of the lucky few who has maxed out his triangle. The premise of the triangle is that you should strive to satisfy three needs in life: doing what you love, getting paid, and learning new things.

Source: Jack Cheng

Sometimes I get mired in the tedium of practicing, the struggle with my uncooperative voice, or the disappointment of rejection, and I need to remind myself that this is part of my quest to maximize my triangle.

Those moments when I see and share Jimmy’s sheer, exuberant joy in doing what he loves, I know that nothing could be better. I sing for the happy clam face, and I hope someday to have my own.

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