MUSIC, MOVEMENT + ME

Stream of consciousness, as I remember it…

Two years old, Michael Jacksonʻs “The Making of Thriller,” on VHS. Ran into the kitchen to hide when he became the werewolf, ran back when it was time to dance. Everyday. Obsessed. 

On my stomach, on the carpet, Fruit Loops in a bowl, Salt-N-Pepaʻs “Push it” music video on MTV. Glorious. 

Fisher-Price kids record player, “Thiller” album on repeat. 

Hours alone in the living room, itʻs dark, the carpetʻs green, Iʻm facing the TV copying dance moves from music videos. Heaven. 

Five years old, hours of dance rehearsal at the Johnny Young Talent School in Brisbane. I didnʻt love being choreographed. I had my own ideas. 

Dressed head to toe in MJ gear, hot Brisbane days, front of our driveway dancing my heart out, drenched in sweat, just waiting for a car to drive by. Painfully quiet street. 

Won a dance contest, prize was to meet Michael Jackson. Wildest dream come true. Met him, a couple nights later Iʻm on stage with him and Stevie Wonder in front of tens of thousands of people. Downstage center, throw my hat off, letʻs do this. “That was fun.” 

On top of the moon because when Mom picked me up from school she handed me a new record she bought for me. Ravenous for music. 

Birthdays backstage. 

Seven years old, first time to Los Angeles. OMG, head over heels in love. Met MJ again, Neverland, Dance, Inspiration, Sexual Abuse. You know that story…If you donʻt and your curious, go back after and click here, here, and here

Music and movement interests begin to expand beyond MJ: Bobby Brown, Tony Terry, M.C. Hammer, Bel Biv Divoe, Johnny Gil, Snap and G.U.Y.

Nine years old, Mom, Sis + I move to LA. Weekly training with street dance legends Pop-N-Taco, Popnʻ Pete, and Boogaloo Shrimp. Invigorated by the movement knowledge. 

Dancing professionally in LA. Commercials, music videos, live shows. Iʻm the 10 year old kid at the 18 and over auditions. 

Hip Hop music and movement blows up my world. Heavy D,  LL Cool J, E.P.M.D., Naughty By Nature and A Tribe Called Quest. 

10 years old, working on a solo rap record. Drenched in hip-hop culture. 

11 years old, joined a rap dup called Quo. Weʻre signed to MJJ Records. Weʻre produced by the likes of Teddy Riley, Redman and Eric Sermon. Dream to write and produce music is officially sparked.  

12 years old, MJ sends me some recording equipment. Piano lessons happen. All hours of the day and night, Iʻm in my little studio making music. Canʻt get enough.

I start teaching 6 dance classes a week. In class, time slips away, music and movement takes possession. I love teaching and seem to have a knack for it. 

Music interests expand; Prince, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Bjork, Tori Amos, James Brown, Ani Difranco, Beatles, John Williams, Danny Elfman, Bernard Herman, Alex North and on and on. 

Creating edits, remixes and original music for my dance classes. Harder to decipher which one comes first, the music or the movement. They have become one. 

14 years old, choreographing music videos, commercials and live shows, music editing, remixing and original compositions to accompany the movement. 

16 years old, Britney Spears, *NSync, choreography, music, stage direction. Big break. 

Writing and producing album music for Britney Spears, *NSync and others. Love being in the studio writing music and geeking out for hours on the arrangement and technical aspects of music production. 

More and more pressure and expectation builds in my career. My love affair with dance: on the rocks. Fun is slipping away. Stakes are high. 

19 years old, I quit Choreography and Stage Direction, “been there, done that,” to focus on Film Directing. 

Writing and producing music continues. I get a big music publishing deal. Pressure feels stronger than ever to deliver. Fun is slipping away and taking productivity with it. 

20 years old, MTVʻs “The Wade Robson Project.” Dance is back in my life. Some moments of fun but ultimately stained by the superficial desire for fame. 

21 years old, I quit dance again to focus on Film Directing. Love/Hate relationship continues. 

23 years old, join the second season of So You Think You Can Dance. Feeling experimental + playful. First piece out the gate wins an Emmy. Gift/Curse. 

5 year resurgence of choreography career. Another Emmy. Music creation here and there. Music and movement interest expansion. Starts out fun. Pressure builds. Less and less play. Career peaking. Anxiety peeking. 

About to Direct my first feature film. Son born. Two nervous breakdowns. Disclosure of MJ abuse. Bury dance, music and film. Disappear to most isolated land mass on the planet. 

Music repertoire shrinks for a while to the only kind that makes me feel safe and good, Bob Marley and Jack Johnson. Dance is gone, forever I think. 

Meditation. Therapy. Reading. Nature. Family. Maui. 

Music interests are the first thing to begin to unravel. I am reborn as a fan and student once more. Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, classical Indian, Tom Waits, Ennio Morricone, Philip Glass and Miles Davis. I pick up the guitar, start writing songs again. 

Film creation comes back in a whole new way. 

2017…DANCE…oh dance, comes back. We fall in love like never before. We play. We share. We remember. The music and movement runs deeper in me than it ever has. My gratitude knows no bounds. 

They never left. Theyʻve always been there for me. An infinite, condition-less gift. It was me that had to find my way home. 

Sometimes you have to experience who you are not, in order to know who you are. 

Wishing you music, movement, health, love and the revelation of your fulfillment. 

Love, Wade. 

4/21/18

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