Play for Peace is excited to introduce the emcee for the 2018 Feast for Peace, Mr. Harold Payne – an improv singer/songwriter. Sponsored by Play for Peace friend and support John Dillon, Harold will bring his talent and charisma to those attending the Feast for Peace on March 8.
Combining his willingness to live in the moment and his extensive musical talent in songwriting, Harold teaches a valuable lesson through the art of improvisation. “There is something about putting your back to the wind,” Harold said. “Going to somewhere you’ve never been and the ‘chance’ encounters that occur. I feel that it keeps you learning and open to new adventures.”
Harold discussed “benign precariousness”, which he describes as a time where you “deliberately put yourself in a new situation that commands your attention.” It stretches you and keeps things from getting automatic or stale. “I’m not talking about jumping off cliffs or doing unsafe things, but just pressing the random button to shake things up a bit.” Harold says that this benign precariousness he refers to allows us to open our minds to new ideas, opinions, and people. When we open ourselves up to new adventures and are living in each moment, we start to think outside of ourselves.
With a music career as a multi-platinum songwriter for artists such as The Temptations, Peter Paul, and Mary, and even Snoop Dogg, it is curious how he came to improv. “It actually started when I would forget other people’s lyrics. I realized I could come up with some of my own on the spot. Then, little by little, I introduced it into my performances. I realized that it puts everyone on the same page at the same time. There is something magical about being in the moment with your audience.”
Talking with Harold, it is evident the passion he has for connecting with others. Whether through his music or just conversing with a stranger, Harold speaks and writes with heart behind each word. That is the magic in his improvisation; this natural empathy and knack for relating to others. Often engaging the audience in the process, he brings together people young and old for a moment of pure joy and entertainment by encouraging them to think creatively.
Harold is looking forward to meeting the Play for Peace community and gaining inspiration from others. “I am most looking forward to the exchange of mutual joy that comes with meeting people who are passionate about making the world a little better, and seeing if I can contribute something that helps take it to another level.”