Tuesday, May 12, 2009

low flying fish for the man in the Tuxedo!

After 12 hours of talking with people, cutting fish, shoveling, yelling, talking on the phone, what do you think we do?
I'm sure we can all have our ideas of what a fishmonger does in his free time, but for one particular evening last week, I'll flat out tell you it didn't involve binge drinking, swapping tales of the sea, or tying up holes in our nets for the next day's "catch" (sorry to bust up your fantasy, but we don't fish too much).

Yes, this night involved black ties, elaborate lighting, a full orchestra, a composer named Mateo and a big thank you to the top donors of Children's Hospital of Seattle at WaMu Theater. Everyone's time was a donation that Thursday including the musicians (an orchestra and Natalie Cole) the Starbucks barista who made lattes to the beat, and the eight of us who threw fish to Mateo "Matt" Messina's piece for the evening "low flying fish". Although the event was not a benefit, we all knew why we were there and why we said "hell yes" when Mateo asked us to be part of it. "A lot of these people who are here are not from here in Seattle and don't know you guys are in the presentation so just have fun and I know it will be contagious!" said Messina.

We fishmongers were reprising a performance that we did three years ago for Messina at a similar event at Benaroya Hall for Children's Hospital. He travels the world, scores movies and composes full symphonies, and now a new bullet point on his resume includes coreographing eight tatooed, exhausted and smelly fishmongers from downtown Seattle.

The yelling and energy that we bring to our work is one thing but when our "work" is brought to a new audience in a new context, you know we're somewhere in the right ballpark of our intentions. 12 years ago, Dicky said "why not Pike Place Fish the movie?" and the next week, Free Willy showed up and the folks from Charthouse made the best selling training video in the world. Recently, we said World Peace and our own backyard of Seattle Children's Hospital is an awesome place to start! Who knows where you'll pop up when you work at a fishmarket right?

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