Third in a Series – The Conversation that changed my life!
(These simple, unedited videos are my way of starting a video archive of the story of ChopSaver Lip Care. My hope is you will find the story behind The World’s Greatest Lip Balm informative, entertaining, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and maybe even inspiring. In this installment, I talk about how I got past a major career disappointment and the conversation that changed my life! Full transcript below.)
Hey, everyone! Welcome back to Notes from Dan, The ChopSaver Guy. And I am Dan Gosling, your host also known as The ChopSaver Guy. ChopSaver Lip Care, the product that I actually created in my kitchen several years ago, which is what this whole video series is sort of about. Not just about the product and how great it is and how people, it’s changed some people’s lives, in fact,. And recommended by doctors and used by some of the greatest musicians in the world, but the story behind its creation and why I do it and those kinds of things. So that’s what this video series is about. Who knows how many of these I’ll make. This is, I believe, number three. In the first two, I talked about my early days as a young musician, what made me want to play the trumpet in the first place?
My college education and my freelance career in the city of Indianapolis, where I still live. And my days as playing a lot with groups like the Cincinnati Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, and I was a founding member of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, things I’m very, very proud of. And the students that I had, which led me up to that moment when I lost the audition, as I talked about in previous videos, the audition that I took to become a full-time member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, after I’d held the job on a temporary basis for three seasons. So as you can imagine to come and finally take the audition for a job you already have, and then to subsequently lose that audition even to a wonderful, great player, fantastic player like Tom Hooten there’s some devastation there, there’s some, wow, what am I going to do now?
I was really hoping this was going to work out, on a full-time basis. My wife is a freelance violinist. We had a young son, our son was young at the time, I should say. And at that moment I had to decide, what am I going to do. Well at that time, the obvious answer was to go back to being a freelancer, not a bad thing to be able to fall back on. And I knew the organizations that I’d played with were still there and the people I still worked with were still there and would welcome me back with open arms. But something happened, a few weeks after that audition. And I had a conversation. So I’m still pretty blue a couple of weeks after the audition. And one of my old students, name was Wesley Bullock, a young man that I used to teach at Butler University years prior.
And like some students you say goodbye to after their last lesson and you never hear from them and that’s fine. And then there’s other students that become lifelong friends and Wes is, was one of those and still is. And we’re just sitting around around the kitchen table talking about all kinds of things. And suddenly he starts mentioning, how he healed his lips from a marching band accident with an herb called arnica. So let me back up. Wes was a Drum Corps kid, a great trumpet player, but he loved Drum Corps. He was one of the founding members of Star of Indiana, which was a legendary Drum Corps or in the Drum Corps world and marching band world. That group went on to become Brass Theater, where they took the Drum Corps concept and worked with the Canadian Brass and took it indoors. And then they turned that into a Broadway show called Blast, which was very successful on Broadway, took the concept of marching band Drum Corps and put it on a small stage. And Wes was all part of that. One of the founding members of that group. One day during the, in the Brass Theater iteration of that, I believe it was, he’s doing this. He’s like this. Somebody runs into him while he’s playing.
I’m not sure if it’s another instrumentalist or someone in the flags or whatever. Now he’s got this horrible bruise on his lips and he’s telling me this story. Fast forward to now, I’m just hanging out with Wes a couple of weeks after my audition. And he’s telling me the story about how he bruised his lips one day in rehearsal. And Stacy Simpson, as it turns out, another friend of mine that we both knew, Stacy was coaching the group. And she said, “Hey, Wes, try this arnica.” Use arnica on your lips. And Wes is telling me this. “I used arnica to heal my lips.” And I looked at him like, what are you talking about? I never heard of this stuff. What’s arnica. He said, well, it’s an herb. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory it’s comes in like a pill form or a topical form. And he said that surgeons use it. And people in sports injuries, sprains, things like that, it’s wonderful stuff, but it’s a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory that comes actually from a sunflower.
That conversation literally changed the course of my life. In fact, I documented it. At the time I was journaling and I was journaling about my practicing, had a practice journal for my preparation for this audition. Well, this journal turned into my recipe book, but right at that time, I wrote this was May 16th of 2004. “Talk to Wes about lots of things. He mentioned Stacy Sampson and Arnica Montana.” Arnica Montana is the fancy term for what we usually refer to as just arnica. The next day, “Thought about healing, a lip balm, especially designed for brass players.” So the rest of this is my crazy mad scientist stuff. And I think I will save that discussion for the next video. Thanks for watching.