Manchester, New Hampshire – There’s not much to surprise Mark Schoenfeld when it comes to show business. He’s been around the entertainment block so many times, from Broadway to Hollywood to Nashville and vice versa, that his reputation as the consummate “pitch man” precedes him almost everywhere he goes. I’m here.
So an unexpected encounter with a real-life “music boy” at Tampa International Airport earlier this week gave him the chills that come with the realization that he’s doing exactly what he’s supposed to do.
Right place, right time, right karma.
“I was going to St. Pete to meet my former assistant Timothy Boynton. Boy’s new creative producer,” Schoenfeld explains.
Duncan Alexander, who picked him up in Tampa, is also an old friend.
“I would describe Duncan as a ‘humanitarian’ at heart. So he picked me up and when he came to me he said, ‘I have to introduce you to an autistic boy who plays the piano. Do you want to meet or just go?”
Anyone who knows Schoenfeld already knows the answer. he’s always a game
As the two men made their way through a busy terminal near a giant pink flamingo, Schoenfeld was drawn to the source of the holiday music that echoed around the crash of travelers. It was 19-year-old Milos Gasior. He wore a black tuxedo with a red bow tie and sat at a small keyboard. It was easy for him to play. His look oblivious to the hustle and bustle behind him, including the presence of a Broadway producer.
“His mother came over and told me all his stories,” Schoenfeld says.
Diagnosed with moderate to severe autism in his second year of life, Milos has struggled with verbal communication and simple tasks ever since. His reading comprehension is at the level of a fourth grader, but his ability to read and memorize sheet music sheet by sheet, translating notes from head to heart to hand is a miracle.
At Schoenfeld, let’s not forget that Milos is the embodiment of “music boy”, a fantastical fictional story that has lived in Schoenfeld’s mind for decades and is finally nearing production. I did.
“Music Boy is about the healing power of music, and when music is in you, it’s a gift. When you have that gift and share it, music changes people’s lives.” – It changes their moods, allows them to relive memories, feel emotions, and understand what others are feeling. is trapped in a world he doesn’t understand, and I don’t know if doctors and scientists still understand it very well. one after another.Why is that?”
In Schoenfeld’s libretto, it happens through the magic of a mother’s love. After spending some time at the airport with Milos and his mother, Bozena Gassior, it is revealed that their real-life story mimics Schoenfeld’s art.
“When I saw her, she was a soldier’s mom. There is no such thing as a slam dunk,” says Schoenfeld.
It’s a quality he admires, but it’s also a relatable one.
“I was raising two kids by myself. I know how hard life can be when you have problems,” he said.
After hearing Milos perform holiday song after holiday song to the delight of onlookers of all ages, Schoenfeld wanted to know what more he could do.
“I hugged him and whispered to his mother that I would help her in any way I could,” Schoenfeld said.
He plans to hook her up with another dear friend of his, author and motivational speaker Paul Boynton. Boynton recently retired from her longtime post as CEO of her services at the Moore Center here in Manchester. “Business. If it doesn’t give you the chills, I don’t know what the chills are,” says Schoenfeld.
“I can see his mother giving a TED Talk about their journey. “There are plenty of other people who can relate as well and do whatever she has to do just to help him live the best life he can,” Schoenfeld says. And I think she should write a book about it, and Paul would be the perfect mentor for her.”
After decades in the business, Schoenfeld finds himself inexplicably drawn into the realm of people who need some guidance in their journeys, like being caught in the magnetic field of music.
Schoenfeld’s sudden attraction makes perfect sense to another longtime companion of former Songwriters Hall of Fame director Bob Leone, with whom Schoenfeld shared his experience of meeting at the airport. Leone replied to Schoenfeld:
“During our conversation tonight, I realized that people who have recently entered your life have something in common with people who have been in your life for 30 years. This led to the creation of “Music Boy”. I don’t think this is a coincidence. I believe the universe supports you in this wonderful project and wants it to come true. As you know, I have long believed that Music Boy has the most positive impact on the lives of everyone who sees it, especially children. I am honored to have been on this journey with you. ”
As Leone pointed out, Milos and many of the people who have recently discovered Schoenfeld discovered it by accident.
Call it the Talent Triangle, or Wheel of Fortune, says Schoenfeld. Call it fate. All he knows is that he met Milos at Kismet.
“There is a song in ‘Music Boy’ called ‘Give a Gift to Yourself and Do Something Wonderful for Somebody Else. I don’t know, I think I want to give them wings and help them fly.
Schoenfeld knows a good hook when he hears it, and even smiles at the suggestion of becoming Magnet Man.
“I like it. People find me and I can’t control it,” he says. “Yeah, Magnet Man – you can put that in your story.”
Traveling on Christmas Eve, Milosz ends his holiday gigs at the airport on December 24th.