Tonight, March 5, at the Max M. Fisher Music Center Orchestra Hall, Peter Buffett will give a live multimedia performance (that encourages audience participation). Peter is a New York Times best-selling author and Emmy-Award winning composer. The show will expand on themes from his best-selling book, Life Is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path To Fulfillment (praised by the likes of Bill Clinton, Ted Turner and Bill & Melinda Gates). Through his performance, Peter seeks to leave his audience with an inspirational and rewarding experience that develops ideas for living a fulfilling life. "Life Is What You Make It: A Concert and Conversation with Peter Buffett" benefits the American Kidney Fund through Ora's Alliance. The event starts at 7 p.m., and you can buy tickets at http://www.detroitsymphony.com/.
I thought it would be helpful to talk to Peter prior to the show to get a better idea about the show.
TheDetroiter.com: What can people expect when they come to your show?
Peter: It's called a Concert and Conversation because I tell my story while sitting at the piano and I play pieces to help illustrate certain points. I play with a cellist -- so it's the two of us onstage. And I use images and video extensively throughout the show. I also take questions through the whole show. There's not a Q&A set aside. I prefer the feeling of a true conversation throughout.
TheDetroiter.com: What other performers have influenced you?
Peter: It all started with The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. And kept progressing from there. My older sister would bring home the rock and pop influences -- from The Kinks to Alice Cooper... and my mom would bring home the soul -- The Temptations, Stevie Wonder etc...
TheDetroiter.com How has your career progressed over the past five years?
Peter: It's taken a very surprising turn for me. I really never performed until recently. I was always behind the scenes writing music for commercials and film and television. But when my book came out in 2010, it provided a platform for this show. Also, I never sang until 2005. So that has changed my music quite a bit. And the real surprise there was collaborating with Akon on a couple of songs. He heard a song I'd written and got interested in working together.
TheDetroiter.com What led to this show?
Peter: As I got older, people would say, "You're Warren Buffett's son?... you're so normal!" I took that as a compliment. But also thought it was a little sad... why wouldn't I be normal? I realized that by telling my story, it might redefine what real wealth and privilege meant. I began to talk to groups and that led to the book, Life Is What You Make It, and this show.
TheDetroiter.com: How has your relationship with your father influenced your show?
Peter: Both of my parents were very influential on me (as I think parents are with any child!) and that appears in the show in many ways. I talk about many of the things I learned from my dad as I talk about the choices I made in my life. My father didn't set out to make a lot of money -- he worked at being his authentic self. That is the essence of what my show is about.
TheDetroiter.com Has he seen the show?
Peter: Yes. He saw it in a very early incarnation and then saw it again last fall.
TheDetroiter.com What's next?
Peter: I'll keep doing this as long as people are interested! And I'm also working on a personal video channel that will have weekly vlogs as well as live streaming events. That should debut in the spring. I'm also always active on my Ning site. In 2010 I released a new song every month and I've started that up again in 2012.
Follow Colin Darke on Twitter: www.twitter.com/colindarke