On Gigging in Aged Care

About 15 years ago I started doing professional gigs, during these years I have found myself performing in ways and places that I never imagined I would, it has always been interesting and challenging. This year I started doing some gigs in Aged Care facilities - a ‘venue’ that I did not imagine back when I started out on the path to be a performer! 

When I was very young I would look at ‘old people’ and see them as different……”who were these strange looking humans…..surely they have no idea what I think or what I am interested in”. Now I am on the 50 side of my 40’s I see them very differently. I can now see them as myself - the person I will be in years to come. A person with memories and dreams - dreams that were fulfilled and dreams that went unfulfilled, the person with a lifetime of joys and a few regrets. 

Confronting ageing seems to be a fact of life. As I watch the people who are my elders grow in age I recognise an inevitable ‘changing of the guard’ - those people who I always expected to be ‘in control of the world’ are no longer in that position. Their energy and power to influence is declining. I am now at an age when my kids look to me as a ‘power in the world’ - this does not mean I actually have any power to influence world events but it is a statement about the way our kids look at us parents…..the way I looked at my parents. We all have a role to play in creating a stable, peaceful, loving and mature world - the place in which we live. 

The thing about music and art in general is that it calls upon the practitioner to think - or at least it does in my case - performance art calls upon the artiste to understand why they are performing. There can be many reasons wrapped up in a single performance. 

So far I am finding working in Aged Care to be very rewarding - what a privilege to contribute to the lives of people in this way - to have the skills and ability to do so. The audiences that I have encountered have given something back to me as a result of me giving something to them - apart from the joy of creating some fun they give me an opportunity to observe and think about this thing we call life - about what it means to feel connected, cared for and loved.

Guy Walton