This is an article that just appeared in a California paper about one of my oldest, dearest friends…and a true believer that we should be creative 24/7. We used to be in a band called The Cheese, a political-improv group that made music up on the spot. Steve is a brilliant editor/life force, someone who always inspired me to be myself…..Enjoy!
Airing out the Music
He’s gotten a cosmic signal that he’s on a spiritual journey with his ‘nonsense,’ air guitar ace says.
By Ryan Vaillancourt
Once a month at the Royal Oaks Convalescent Hospital, dozens of patients roll their wheelchairs into a common room to watch entertainer and musician Steve Price rock out. It doesn’t matter to them that Price’s guitar is fashioned from cardboard and that his saxophone is actually driftwood.
For two years, Price has entertained the patients at Royal Oaks with an air guitar, karaoke-style show that he calls a “journey around the world.”
With familiar tunes playing through speakers, Price dances around a faux-microphone, inducing the crowd into a hand-clapping revelry.
“We’re going from Johnny Cash to Armenia, people,” Price said.
And from there, it’s on to Jamaica, Italy, Poland, Mexico and beyond.
“I think he’s crazy,” said Hegda Abrahamian. “He’s a good entertainer though. He picks us up.”
Price, who takes his show mostly to parks and farmers’ markets, provides a spark of youth each time he visits Royal Oaks, said Owen Cazier, who celebrated his 80th birthday on Friday.
“He’s a character,” Cazier said. “I like that, because I’m kind of a character myself, for 80. I refuse to act 80. I don’t feel much older than 45.”
Many people have told Price that he needs to stop doing his act, which he calls the “Imagination Circus” or “Cirque Du Solo,” and move on to something more normal, Price said.
But those who tell him to stop are outnumbered by those who keep asking for more, he said.
“I’ve had moments where people over the years have told me to stop all this,” Price said. “Whenever someone would say stop this nonsense, I would get a sign from the universe that I was on some kind of spiritual journey.”
One of the first signs came about two years ago when Cora Ovikian, the activities director at Royal Oaks, invited Price to come entertain the residents, he said.
“This is my favorite show for many reasons, but mainly because Cora was the first one to believe in me,” Price said.
Now, the man behind the Imagination Circus has quite the following.
“He makes everybody laugh,” said Bella Avsepian, social services director at the hospital. “He makes everybody dance. He makes everybody feel they are really somebody here.”
Cazier, who clapped almost nonstop throughout Price’s one-hour performance, is a fan because Price has a compelling message.
“What he says is very true,” Cazier said, referring to a Pablo Picasso quote, referenced by Price.
“It takes a long time to become young.”