What’s your passion? Do you have one?
For me, it’s writing. This is my passion. Spreading inspiration, creating imagery with words, taking your head to another place, even if for a little while … THAT’S my passion, with four kids, a husband, 6 chickens, 2 bunnies, a dog and a cat … That’s about as passionate as I get, these days … wink wink!!
Recently, I sat with Rocco Costanza, who is a 24-year-old ROCK STAR … well, at least locally, he is, but I promise you, please remember his name, because his talents are certainly going to pay off … maybe sooner than expected. Rocco walked into my house, very confident with his dark Ray Ban Aviators on, his very cool, very stylish ripped jeans, hat on backwards, guitar in hand … ready to sit down and chit-chat. I couldn’t help but to wonder … Was I that confident at 24?!
Immediately, I admired him. Was it the confidence I admired? Yes, but that’s not all. He was polite, respectful, talked to my youngest child as if he knew her forever … a rock star, but better!!
In an earlier blog, I mentioned The Anti-Bully Squad, which was started by a friend of mine and my husband, Tom Peterson, along side Brandon McManus, from the Denver Broncos. Well, Tommy also started another campaign back in 2000, along with an old buddy of his, Kyle Poyer, (small world) who is also from the area, but now resides in Anderson, IN. Together, they have formed something called Rock For Character, and I’m on a mission, to be their voice, so they are heard!!
This campaign is AHHHMAZING! I’m a lover of writing first, but music is a very, very close second place! For me, it’s my get-a-way from LIFE. If I’m in a bad mood, I’m cranking up the tunes, because I know, that at some point while listening, my mood will change. It’s magical. Why is it magical? WHO CARES WHY?! It just is, and that’s all that should matter, because I know that I’m not the only person this happens to.
Me: “What was your favorite elective in elementary school?”
Rocco: “It was music, and gym.”
For me, it was music. I love to sing. I’m a freaking rock star every day in my shower. It’s an AMAZING show, too bad my family are the only ones to have the privilege of listening to SUCH awesomeness! wink wink!
Me: “Why is it important to keep music in schools?”
Rocco: “If music wasn’t in school when I was younger, I wouldn’t have had the desire to sing, and make music.”
He also went on to say that it was his MUSIC TEACHER, who taught him how to play the piano … in school … for free. Did you hear me?! FOR FREE!! Yet, another, rather PHENOMENAL reason, to PLEASE keep music in the schools!
What does this organization do?
They go into the schools. All schools. Elementary through college, and any event you can think of in between. They deliver a VERY clear message, by using music, and singing, to get the attention of the students, and staff. Everyone loves music, or at the very least, they can appreciate good music. Rock For Character, takes a young artist, guitarist, drummer, etc., and they start off by singing an inspirational song, more than likely a cover of a popular song, they already know … so this automatically engages the students. When that song is done, the artist reaches out to the students, and speaks to them in a language they understand. I watched a video of this program. I was instantly inspired. They go on to sing another song, maybe a little riff on the guitar. They inspire some more, by speaking their language. I was so inspired personally, that I have offered to help in ANY way I can, to “relay” this message, the best that I can. So, I’m starting with this blog …
I’m sad to learn that it’s hard to get this program into OUR NJ Schools … I’m actually not sad, I’m freaking mad! Rock For Character (RFC), has no problem booking schools in PA, OH, CT, parts of NY State, and IN. I’m not understanding what the problem is in OUR NJ Schools?! To me, this is a no brainer!!! RFC, has a motto, Keep your character in tune, one string at a time. They also incorporate this six letter acronym (like a guitar has six strings) into their message, P.A.R.T.T.Y., however, not in the way you may think!
P=Passion, A=Attitude, R=Respect, T=Trust, T=Thoughtfulness, Y=You
Rocco said, “It starts with you, and ends with you.” It starts with your passion, your want and desire to do whatever you want, be whoever you want. They speak about attitude, respect, trust, all things that are very self explanatory. Here’s where they tie in the Anti-Bully Squad, through THOUGHTFULNESS. It makes sense, right? Again, I’m echoing my sentiments in my previous blog, but bullying is getting out of hand, and it seems these children are getting younger and younger, and parents are fighting with schools for help with their depressed kid, and NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING!!! WTF?!
PLEASE!! Let this organization into our schools! It could save a life. Not only has it been proven that this type of campaign can help to stop bullying, it can also help reach a kid who is thinking about dropping out, smoking tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse, teen pregnancy, violence, and other destructive behaviors or decisions.
Me: “Rocco, what message is it that you, personally, want to convey to the younger audience?”
Rocco: “Be respectful .. be loving .. be happy.”
Hmmm .. Sounds a little familiar to me. Again, echoing the sentiments of my previous blog, be anything, but MEAN!
You can all have the pleasure of seeing Rocco perform, this FRIDAY, JUNE 23rd, at a fundraising event, that a FIFTEEN YEAR OLD freshman, has put together for a classmate, whose family lost their house to a fire last month. It’s being held at Horseshoe Lake, in Roxbury. You can find more info here. Please make sure to also stop by the Rock for Character website to check them out, along with the Anti-Bully Squad.
Everyone here is just trying to do the right thing, and spread the message. Thank you to Tommy Peterson, and Rocco Costanza for swinging by, and having this conversation with me! I appreciate everything you guys are doing!
Me: “Rocco, how important is it to be an honest, thoughtful person?”
Rocco: “HONESTY is huge … from the fans, from the critics … It’s great to be honest, you don’t have to be mean.”