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The great rock ‘n’ roll legend and guitar hero Eddie Van Halen died this past week at the age of 65. He is known as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and his innovative style and unparalleled technique made him a guitar god to millions of mourning fans. Eddie not only learned to play by himself, but he also built his own guitars. His guitar solo on the volcanic tune “Eruption” set a new standard for the electric guitar and is still seen as a watershed moment in rock history. His two-handed tapping technique on the explosive track has been imitated and aped by musicians far and wide, but the originator mastered its effect and ushered in a new era of stringed instruments with the ingenious approach. 

Although Van Halen’s music was featured in a number of feature films and television shows including Weird Science, Private Parts, The Sopranos, Superbad, Entourage, and Zombieland, the track that many believe is VH’s crowning achievement is the Sammy Hagar-penned “Right Now.” According to Wikipedia, “Vocalist Sammy Hagar has said that he was writing the lyrics to this song at the studio very late one night, and he heard Eddie Van Halen in an adjacent room working on a piano melody. Hagar said he suddenly realized that ‘We were writing the same song,’ so he walked into the room and began singing his words over Eddie’s music.” 

Strangely, for such a guitar-driven band, “Right Now” is really a mighty composition dominated by the piano, with Eddie conjuring a hopeful yet cagey and thoughtful melody.

What’s useful here is that the song gives worthwhile guidance in how to live a fulfilling life and to achieve a successful career. The whole idea of living in the moment and doing everything you can to accomplish your goals has rarely been more eloquently expressed or more accurately portrayed as in this masterful cut. True, the lyrics were written by Sammy Hagar, but regardless, it is a Van Halen song and all of the members are credited with authorship and  arrangement.

The song urges the listener to think about his or her dreams and ambitions, and to keep pushing forward in those goals—”right now!”

“Don’t want to wait ’til tomorrow

Why put it off another day.

One more walk through problems

Built up, and stand in our way.”

In regards to your journey as an actor or actress, are there things you’ve put off till tomorrow? Look, no judgement, because everyone struggles to live an optimum life and to be as productive as possible in pursuing his or her dreams. However, if putting off important work for another day has become a pattern, well, it’s time to break that pattern … right now!

“One step ahead, one step behind me, 

Now you gotta run to get even, 

Make future plans, don’t dream about yesterday, hey

C’mon turn this thing around—Right now!”

It’s your tomorrow; no one else’s. In terms of your professional life, is your acting career everything to you? Darn right, it is. So wouldn’t you want to get to it immediately? Right now? 

This song is a clarion call; it is a mandate to stop dawdling and break through the barriers of fear, anxiety, and malaise, and to begin working on the essential things in life that have laid dormant for too long. Is it an online class you’ve been planning to take? A phone call you’ve neglected? That monologue you started to learn years ago? All of it is important; indeed “it is everything.”

So, if the coronavirus and its attendant headaches leaves you feeling a bit stuck in the mud, then crank up Van Halen’s “Right Now” to eleven! 

RIP Edward Lodewijk Van Halen. 1955 – 2020.