Drummer urges Amherst students to channel power of positivity Life advice from a Crash Test Dummy
Mitch Dorge is no dummy. He puts the weight of a successful music career behind his message to today’s youth: positive action and making informed decisions.
Drummer for the Canadian rock band the Crash Test Dummies, Dorge is also a motivational speaker. Thanks to the support of The Cooperators, Dorge shared his story and insights with students at Amherst Regional High on Nov. 28, primarily Grade 12 students about to embark on a new chapter in their lives after graduation.
Dorge encouraged the students to pursue what they like and embrace positivity as the journey unfolds. Being positive is something that has opened more doors for him, something he had not noticed until it was pointed out to him.
“I started noticing other people in other professions who are generally not happy doing what they are doing and I used to think ‘Wow, man. Life is too short to not be happy,’” Dorge said. “I was too busy with my own career to do anything about it but after having a conversation with Ellen (Reid, Crash Test Dummies vocalist and pianist) I took it upon myself to see how I could make the world a happier place.”
The teenager exterior can be a difficult personality to bring out of its shell, but by using interactive humour Dorge turned the audience who mumbled through a morning hello into a merry band of performers, getting hearty laughs from their peers and one another. Intense positivity, Dorge said, is not for everyone but any positivity is a step in the right direction and is much more productive.
Dorge shared how his own positive nature landed him jobs, helped him take advantage of opportunities and turned into the full-time gig he is known for around the world. Channeling positive energy, Dorge said, is much easier than many realize.
“When you want positive energy from people all you need to do is one of two things. Either, A, just ask or, B, push the right buttons… if everybody gave 100 per cent, most of the problems in
this world would be done. They would be over. But it’s because people chose to not get involved — because people chose to be standbys — crazy things happen,” Dorge said.
In the second installment of Dorge’s presentation, the percussionist appealed to the student’s senses. Alcohol and drugs are a reality
students will or already have encountered. Rather than deliver the prohibition-laden ‘Just say no’ message of the 1980s, Dorge instead encouraged students to be informed and continue being informed. With the world connected by the Internet, students have access to personal stories. Therein, Dorge said, lies the real truths students need to know.
“Read those stories. Just read some of them. Read five of them,” Dorge said. “A lot of those stories are going to be ‘I tried this drug, I didn’t like it.’ There is going to be ‘This drug completely ruined my life or ruined the life of somebody close to me.’ And there are going to be some who say ‘This was the best experience of my life.’ This is not about right or wrong, or good and bad. All I am asking is if you guys happen to be somewhere at some point in time — most likely at a party of a bar — somebody shows up with something, if you are going to make a choice at least it’s going to be an informed choice. That’s really the best we can ask for.”
Dorge provided copies of his own email to students so they can share their stories, advice or experiences with him, as well as a copy of the Kids Help Phone number and website.
Known for being the man behind the Crash Test Dummies drum kit, Mitch Dorge was out front speaking to students at Amherst Regional High.
Using interactive humour, musician Mitch Dorge channelled positive energy at ARHS.