Last month I went to a Thirty Seconds to Mars and Linkin Park concert in Denver and in the middle of the show I had an an epiphany — to be truly successful, something has to have solid support. I witnessed this first hand that night. In the middle of the song Do or Die, motion on the left of the stage pulled my gaze away from lead singer Jared Leto. H is brother, Shannon Leto, jammed on the keyboards and banged a drum – working and sweating to build the crescendo of the rock anthem. Without his efforts and support, that song, along with every other song they’ve ever played, wouldn’t be as dynamic as it is. Take away the layer Shannon adds to every piece of work, and they’d fall flat.
The same rang true for Linkin Park. Chester Bennington, lead vocalist, dominated the stage and mic. He proved himself as a talented vocalist through energetic melodies and well-timed guttural screams, as well as an amazing showman. But he shared the stage with Mike Shinoda, who blew. Me. Away. Sure, I’ve listened to them from the jump so Mike was no surprise per se, but he was phenomenal. This dude rocked the keyboard, played guitar, bass guitar, and claimed the turn-tables. Mike also sang — and, oh yeah, he can rap like a boss (nu metal, rap rock, whatever you want to classify it). And the one thing that was made clear – Linkin Park has two leads.
This idea – solid support is needed for success (yes, I realize our definitions of success are going to vary widely)- can be applied to so many scenarios, including variations of art. Take film for example. They hand out Oscar’s to best supporting roles for a reason. I can even apply this to other forms of fiction, such as novels. The secondary characters are not only important to the plot, but they help characterize and deepen the main characters. In my soon-to-be-released YA scifi debut, ANOMALY, releasing on November 25, 2014 (shameless plug), the story is told by two POVs (points-of-view) – Josie and Reid. Technically, Josie is the main character, but without her Reid, she wouldn’t be as three dimensional. See, it’s her interactions and reactions to Reid, the solid support, that let’s the reader understand Josie – and if the main character is understood, then the story is being conveyed. There are other secondary characters in the book – a mom, friends, a teacher, a brother – and they all serve purposes, but, again, one of their most important roles is defining the main characters, making them leap off the page.
So, this post is dedicated to the unsung heroes of the creative arts. Without the Mike Shinodas, Shannon Letos, and Reids, the finished product, be it a song, record, story, or film, wouldn’t be nearly as complete.
Oh, and if you want more info on ANOMALY, click HERE!