Today, "Black Friday", the biggest shopping day of the year, I had plans to go to my local mall and sing some songs in the food court; in part to overcome my own stage fright, and in part to raise awareness about my foray with America's Got Talent. I had all the details worked out; six songs loaded and ready to go on my mp3 player, a small amp with a microphone, hundreds of mini fliers announcing my plans. It was all coming together except for one small yet crucial component; the permission of the mall.
My first set was supposed to start at noon. At about 11:52 I noticed the sharks circling. Mall security was roaming about the food court at an unusually high proportion. Almost immediately, one approached me, jabbering into his radio which was attached to his shoulder. I was told that the mall might take exception to my plans. When I asked what I needed to do to get permission, he referred me to the mall office.
It's funny because I printed lots of fliers, but had only handed out a few, probably less than ten. However when I got to the office, they showed me my flier and said "Is this you?" Immediately I was ushered of to the office of the chief of security. I thought to myself "what have I gotten myself into!?"
The officer was polite and very friendly, he said that the mall welcomes this kind of stuff, but it must be pre-approved by the marketing director. He said that if they allowed me to do it they would have to allow everyone to do it. it seems to me that I was introduced to this logic in kindergarten, and yet it still holds true. So he gave me the marketing director's card and told me to call her on Monday to work something out. On my way out of the office to my car, security guards would stop me and ask "so did they say you could do it?"
I can take this one of two ways; and this is where I am stuck. Perhaps you can help. I can either take this as God telling me not to do this, not to follow this whole singing thing anymore (the whole "closed door" philosophy) or I can take it as a lesson in forethought and planning. The scary thing is it never entered my mind that I would need to get permission to sing in a public place. however, I now see that it's just not that easy. Please tell me what you think; do I take this as a sign to hang my microphone up, or do I press on and learn to get more people involved to make sure all bases are covered?