In 2010, Dotan Negrin quit his job to search for the meaning of his life. Stuck in his dream of being an actor in NYC, he was dabbling in a bit of everything: real estate, day trading, selling used items on eBay. Finally, he decided to save himself from depression and frustration, taking all his money, hitting the road across the America on a truck with his Baldwin upright piano. His companion is a dog named Brando.
Before becoming a travelling pianist, Dotan was the assistant of a photographer and an artist. Dotan drove his truck full of his paintings and photography from New York to Miami for a big art festival there.When he got to Miami, as suggested by a friend, he ended up flying down to the Dominican Republic, where he rode motorcycles through the tropical rainforest and made friends with people and explored. Such experience was so eye-opening and mind-blowing experience that he became totally addicted to travel.
To realize his trip from NYC to Panama, he launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to pay a cameraman to join him and film the adventure. He has never asked for crowd funding before, as he often did all the filming himself. Dotan emphasizes that the sponsorship won’t be used to cover his expense; instead, he will pay the travel costs himself. By 2013, he has been playing in the streets of more than 65 cities.
What he figured out as meaning of life?
Using Music, Theater, and my personal experiences, I want to become that catalyst for change in the world. I want to help people find their true meaning in life of which goes beyond their individual selves but in helping others and challenging the self. I want to meet people of the world and understand where they come from, their beliefs, their troubles.
Doing something extraordinary?
I think it’s extraordinary when someone or people can challenge the norm. When someone can break away from the normal routine of things and create their own way of doing it. The most notable figures in science (and) athletes are people who’ve reinvented, not those who have taken the same route as anyone else.
Dotan’s Youtube channel:
Playing piano in the desert at Burning Man:
For future plan, Dotan is looking for a manager to help him setting up his performances in a fixed venues that already have pianos there. He’s also going to try to pitch a TV show.
The story of Dotan relates much to the song “Aux Champs Élysées”
Je m’baladais sur l’avenue le coeur ouvert à l’inconnu
J’avais envie de dire bonjour à n’importe qui
N’importe qui et ce fut toi, je t’ai dit n’importe quoi
Il suffisait de te parler, pour t’apprivoiser
Tu m’as dit “J’ai rendez-vous dans un sous-sol avec des fous
Qui vivent la guitare à la main, du soir au matin”
Alors je t’ai accompagnée, on a chanté, on a dansé
Et l’on n’a même pas pensé à s’embrasser
Photo Credit: http://www.pianoaroundtheworld.com/