What I Learned from My Friend Bart

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I didn’t wake up this morning with a burning desire to author another dissertation on how to “live each moment as if it were your last.” Quite frankly, the Internet has plenty of them already and yet still very few of us actually live this way. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve all declared we would at some point…after a car accident, a catastrophic event, the death of a loved one or even a sad movie or show. But in the end it’s usually short lived and it isn’t long before we go back to business as usual.

Perhaps this isn’t the best way to approach life after all. Let’s face it, you honestly aren’t living that way now and you likely won’t start tomorrow. None of us will. It’s too grandiose of a statement for it to be a sustainable way of life. Live every moment as if it were your last? Every moment? Does that include the time spent doing your laundry? Visits to the dentist? While you’re stuck in traffic? That’s a lot of pressure!

I know that I’m sounding a bit too practical considering the subject matter but there is another option that I want you to consider. What if instead you were simply to live. To enjoy every minute of your life without the fear of it being your last? To squeeze every drop of juice from the orange. That’s it.

I had an old friend that lived that way. His name was Bart Kahn. I knew him from my “previous life” when I was a musician on tour with the Broadway show “Rent.” I can go on about how funny and talented he was. Or how he always had a way of making his presence known. Or how anyone that met him always seemed to walk away with a great story to tell. But as I sit here at his funeral I can’t help but think that this was a guy that really did squeeze every drop of juice from the orange. He lived each minute of his life, fully. We can all use to learn something from him. I did.

Thank you Bart.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=706195894 Horace Vincent Rogers

    Marc this is so beautiful. I am sending it to as many people as I can. I had no idea that you are a writer. This article is very moving. Thank you. Thank you.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you Horace! That means a lot coming from the most talented guy in town.

  • Dominique

    Marc, hiiiiiiii !!!!! It has been a slice..thank you for posting this; i am going to share. And yes, you are right, even painful moments are to be looked at fondly…you are alive! You wake up EVERY morning. That to me, is fascinating beyond words..
    I will miss Bart like crazy. But then again, knowing him, he is probably in my room, floating around right this second. Ha!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Waaay too long Dom! Next time you are in town, you’d better look me up!

  • Dominique

    By the way, i recall a “phone” episode in Virginia…having to do with recording a “leave a message” message ;) hehehhehe….

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      12 years later and I am still paying for that! 

  • Jenny Dewar

    I love this. It’s really really true. He lived a lot of life. And laughed about pretty much all of it. 

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you Jenny!  He certainly kept us entertained while on tour!

  • Markrford

    Great lesson Marc. Bart left us with a lot of great memories to look back on and laugh. He was a great friend and, as I said earlier, one of a kind.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you…one of a kind is definitely a great way to describe him :)

  • Lburak

    Thanks, Marc….a beautifully writen wake up call!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you!!!

  • Greg Mowry

    I met Bart Kahn in 1987 or 88. He sent me his picture and resume and a letter telling me how much he liked my performance in Starlight Express and that he wanted to meet me (smile). I wrote him back and told him to come to my dressing room after the evening show and he did. He was so young and bright eyed. He was very kind to me and I didn’t see him or hear from him again until my wife and 18 year old daughter met him at the stage door of The Lion King. He even asked me if I wanted him to give my wife and daughter a tour of the backstage. We became facebook friends until I came off of facebook and never heard from him again. I just found out he passed away. So young still…………….I’m so sad that he is gone.
    Greg Mowry

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hi Greg! I know…it’s such a big loss for the Broadway community. Bart had Broadway rushing through his veins. It was a beautiful ceremony where a lot of his friends stood up and sang and told some great stories. He will be sorely missed!