Brain Rats, The Video

I’ve written about my song, “Brain Rats,” in this blog several years ago. Now I’m revisiting the subject in celebration of the new music video of the song.

The song is a goofy, dramatic sendup of the persistent negative thoughts we carry around…thoughts I dubbed “brain rats.”

Much to my surprise, the song is one of my most popular. I think it’s because “Brain Rats” brings our secret worries out into public and make ridiculous fun of them.

The idea for this video began a few years ago when my friend, Christopher, gave me two stuffed rat toys. They took up residence on my piano and encouraged my voice clients to acknowledge and move past their own brain rats as they opened up their voices.

Those rats also traveled with me wherever I went, residing in a special pocket in my backpack. I’d bring them out whenever I did the song during a keynote or training.

Chris recently added to my rat collection. He sent a brown paper package wrapped in yards of tape. When I slit it open, nine more rats popped out and scattered across my dining room table.

That’s when I got serious about bringing the video to life. I contact my brilliant young videographer, Isaiah Bischoff, who helped me create the “Man Alive” video last year.

One of the big questions was what to wear in the video.  I was still unsure about it when Isaiah showed up at my house on the day of the shoot. As I talked with him about options, I finally got the answer: my grandfather’s vaudeville costume.

Back when we were clearing out my singing grandpa’s house in Des Moines, Iowa, I found two identical lavender and light green suits. He wore one of them when he performed vaudeville around Iowa as a young man in the 1920’s. I also have one of the tambourines he used in those performances with the jokes taped inside.

Amazingly, one of the suits fit me perfectly. At 6’2” I rarely find anythingfits that well, let alone something that antiquated.

The suits have resided in my closet ever since. I love having them around, but I rarely find an opportunity to wear them. Many years ago, a friend and I wore them for Halloween. I’ve pulled out the jacket for a performance here and there.

It made me happy to bring something of my grandfather’s spirit into this project. I imagine he would have enjoyed adding some beautiful baritone harmony to the song. He sang beautifully his whole life long.

I also enjoyed the long arc of time reflected in the project….my grandfather who was born in 1900, my middle-aged self and Isaiah who turned 16 a few weeks before the video shoot.

Now the video is out there in the world, bringing the message of “Brain Rats” to a wider audience. And at the tail end, there is my handsome Grandpa Fred’s face smiling out from the past.

You can watch the video here….and feel free to spread it far and wide!

 

 

 

 

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About Barbara McAfee

Barbara is a voice coach, singer/songwriter, keynote speaker, and author who merges lessons from 12 years in organization development with the transformational power of sound. Her book, Full Voice: The Art & Practice of Vocal Presence (Berrett-Koehler Publishers) was a #1 Amazon bestseller in Business Communication. The book is based on her 25 years as a voice coach, supporting people from many professions in learning how to access the full power and expression of the voice in service to their work and relationships. Barbara’s musical keynotes blend practical content, sophisticated humor, and thought-provoking questions on topics including voice, leadership, and engagement. She was “the band” for Margaret Wheatley’s Women’s Leadership Revival Tour, which visited 15 North American cities. She also appears with authors Parker Palmer and Peter Block. Barbara has produced seven CD's of mostly original music and is founder of the Morning Star Singers, a volunteer hospice choir in the Twin Cities. She lives across the street from the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
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4 Responses to Brain Rats, The Video

  1. Kerstin Ljungström Zetterberg says:

    Thanks Barbara! This is a really great song and reminder

    Best regards,

    Kerstin (friend of Leslie Yerkes)

    Kluab

    Kerstin Ljungström

    Rödhakevägen 23

    SE 14172 Segeltorp

    Sweden/Europe

    +46705412771

    http://www.kluab.se

    Från: Full Voice — Barbara McAfee Svara till: Full Voice — Barbara McAfee Datum: torsdag 1 november 2018 06:54 Till: Kerstin Ljungström Ämne: [New post] Brain Rats, The Video

    Barbara McAfee posted: ” I’ve written about my song, “Brain Rats,” in this blog several years ago. Now I’m revisiting the subject in celebration of the new music video of the song. The song is a goofy, dramatic sendup of the persistent negative thoughts we carry around…tho”

  2. Marion Van Namen says:

    I love reading this history of brain rats. You so rock! xox

    Marion Van Namen *Artistic Director *

    website | singportland.com facebook | singportland instagram | singportland e-mail | marion@singportland.com phone | 503-956-4046

    *”Ah music. A magic beyond all we do here.”* J.K. Rowling

    On Wed, Oct 31, 2018 at 10:54 PM Full Voice — Barbara McAfee wrote:

    > Barbara McAfee posted: ” I’ve written about my song, “Brain Rats,” in this > blog several years ago. Now I’m revisiting the subject in celebration of > the new music video of the song. The song is a goofy, dramatic sendup of > the persistent negative thoughts we carry around…tho” >

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