using success to pull others up

Jay Clouse inspiration, leadership, stories

This weekend I visited Denver, Colorado, to watch some good friends of mine play a show at Red Rocks. The band, a trio named Edison, are all from Colorado and have dreamed of playing a show at Red Rocks for most of their lives.

Variety recently wrote about how national acts can struggle to play the venue as it may require booking up to five years in advance.

I remember where I was when Sarah called me to tell me the news that they were playing. I had just decided that I was going to leave my job when I got the call inviting me to come to Denver two months later to hang with the band backstage for the show.

I was so stoked for them! Of course I immediately agreed to come hang and help however I could.

Over the last three years, I’ve gotten close to Sarah, Dustin, and Maxwell as they toured across the country. I first connected with Maxwell when he was touring for his solo project and my roommate Joey opened for him at a local venue. Over the following two years, we helped Maxwell set up some shows in Columbus including several shows in our living room.

When Max joined Sarah and Dustin in forming Edison, we hosted the full band at our place in Columbus too. We love the three of them, we love their music, and we love to share it with anyone we can.

Meeting up with the band this weekend, it became clear that the band is surrounded by an extremely loving and supportive group of friends and family. But Edison didn’t just invite their friends and family, they got them involved.

Maxwell’s brother and I served as guitar techs backstage for the show (neither of us have any technical ability). They brought friends from several different acts to share the stage for multiple songs, allowing others to take part in the moment and share the dream, too.

Would that group of us ever have the opportunity to experience Red Rocks in that way otherwise? I can’t say for certain – but they are pretty long odds.

It’s a dream that Sarah, Maxwell, and Dustin have had for a long time. And instead of keeping that success for themselves, they took that opportunity to spread the joy and opportunity to other folks who shared that dream. And I think that is a true mark of success.


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