Zigaboo

George Farmer, Zigaboo Modeliste and I having a moment (of fun) after his soundcheck at Freight and Salvage across the street from The Berkeley Repertory Theatre back in October of 2017.

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to watch his soundcheck in between our shows at “Ain’t Too Proud.” We had the chance to chat with him for a good 45 minutes. I asked a million questions and he seemed like he had a million answers for me. I had three million more to ask but he was reminded by his manager to get some food before he had to work…so we let him go-lol!

He was great to talk with. I’m glad we had the chance to meet a living legend and an amazing musician.

I was about to call out sick to my show but remembered that I had no subs in Berkeley to fill in for me if I were to take off…damn..damn…DAMN!

I sure would have been dancing to some good ol’ NOLA funk if I were at his show. He’s so good!

I love that music and love me some New Orleans.

By the way, it appears as if Zig made a choice that I’ll be making soon…moving to the Bay Area. He’s been there for a while.

GOOD CHOICE sir!

I’ll have to catch one of his shows soon. Maybe in 2018 at the Jazz Fest?

Clayton Craddock is a stay-at-home father of two children in New York City. He has a B.B.A from Howard University’s School of Business and is also a 17 year veteran of the fast paced New York City music scene. He has played drums in a number of hit Broadway musicals including “tick…tick…BOOM, Memphis the Musical and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Audra McDonald.

He has worked on other musicals; Footloose, Motown, The Color Purple, Bare, Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, Evita, Cats, and Avenue Q and is currently the drummer in a new Broadway bound musical titled Ain’t Too Proud.

Clayton has written for A Voice For Men, The Good Men Project and is writing a memoir about fatherhood.

 

Shop Around

After playing the top of the line drums in Berkeley at the show “Ain’t Too Proud” for 4 months, it’s hard to play drums that are 25 years old. There isn’t really anything wrong with these drums but I LOVED playing on brand new Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple drums. Those drums just sing!

It’s time to sell off all my old stuff and upgrade. Yes indeed. These drums helped me make lots of music, and money over the years, but it’s time to move into the new year with new equipment.

Hey, maybe I’ll get a new GMS! They are a great company.

It’s time to shop around.

Clayton Craddock is a stay-at-home father of two children in New York City. He has a B.B.A from Howard University’s School of Business and is also a 17 year veteran of the fast paced New York City music scene. He has played drums in a number of hit Broadway musicals including “tick…tick…BOOM, Memphis the Musical and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Audra McDonald. He has worked on other musicals; Footloose, Motown, The Color Purple, Bare, Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, Evita, Cats, and Avenue Q and is currently the drummer in a new Broadway bound musical titled Ain’t Too Proud.
Clayton has written for A Voice For Men, The Good Men Project and is writing a memoir about fatherhood.

Labor Of Love

I have an idea for a new reality series. It’s called “Labor Of Love.” It will chronicle the lives of men who want to “have it all.”

This show will follow men in their thirties who fight and scrape their way to corporate success and have a great time on the New York City dating scene. The problem is they don’t find suitable women who they feel they can marry and settle down with. They use dating apps to meet all kinds of women. They sometimes find it even easier to just hang out and meet women face to face at bars, nightclubs and out in the general public. They are confident, mature, interesting, well-read, bright, thoughtful, adventurous men but can’t seem to meet “the one!”

Well, what do they do? They feel that since they aren’t getting any younger, they decide to stay single. The twist is that they want to raise a child on their own. They look for women who will either be the one who will give birth to ther child, through insemination, or they will adopt a beautiful baby on their own.

These men will finally be able to raise a family. They will also continue to date from time to time if they choose to – just for the fun of it! They don’t see the need to get married or have anyone move in with them. They got this! They feel empowered knowing there is support for single parents, especially these single dads.

It seems as if our society has noticed how men’s dreams have evolved over time from the one-time ideal of having a good job, a big house, a nice relationship and then kids. Often having a family is part of this dream, but for more and more men, it’s a good job, the big house and not the other two. Settling down and having kids used to be the natural progression, but for those who have completed the first two of the four-step dream, maybe it’s just some fun on the side and raising kids on their own. Maybe this is the path for the modern man!

This show will explore this phenomenon deeper and see what life is like for men who want to “have it all.”

Sounds interesting doesn’t it? Or does it sound alarming?

Well, what if the show was about a woman making these decisions? The exact same scenario, but not a single man?

Well, there is actually is one. It’s called Labor Of Love.  It’s about women making this really ill-informed choice. What do you feel people’s reaction would be to a man choosing this exact same path as opposed to a woman? I have a feeling there would be more than a few raised eyebrows if the show was the way I described above.

There is a world of information about children being raised in a single parent home. It’s rarely a wise choice for the child, the parent and society. Why would anyone find a show about choosing single parenthood worth producing?

 

Clayton Craddock is a stay-at-home father of two children in New York City. He has a B.B.A from Howard University’s School of Business and is also a 17 year veteran of the fast paced New York City music scene. He has played drums in a number of hit Broadway musicals including “tick…tick…BOOM, Memphis the Musical and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Audra McDonald.

He has worked on other musicals; Footloose, Motown, The Color Purple, Bare, Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, Evita, Cats, and Avenue Q and is currently the drummer in a new Broadway bound musical titled Ain’t Too Proud.

Clayton has written for A Voice For Men, The Good Men Project and is writing a memoir about fatherhood.

 

Fighting For “Equality”

I sincerely hope those who fight for gender equality will take their fight down to the courthouse steps – the steps of Family Courts all across America. Fight for men who are blindsided by unilateral divorce and truly want to be fathers to their children.

If you have been inside of any family court, you know equality is a dirty word. If you are a father, and have tried to deal with family court judges, you know what I mean.

There is an incredible amount of gender bias in the halls of these places and it needs to be put to rest. Neither parent deserves to be with the children of a couple more than the other. The blatant inequality that is on display should be addressed in a manner as vigorously as activists seem to do with issues like child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence and poverty. In fact, it is all related.

The removal of the father from the home directly contributes to poverty, which in turn, can lead to instances of child and domestic abuse. The splitting of the home into two creates separate sets of expenses and often leads to financial hardship for both the mother and father. The long-lasting effects are far-reaching and incredibly devastating for many communities, especially ones that are without the means to work out their custody issues in a more rational, less emotional manner.

Family court is in no way the arena to find the best solution for families and children. Family court judges are certainly not looking out for the best interest of the children. If it were, the judges would find a way to maintain a healthy relationship with both parents.

Children need both their mother and father. It appears family court does not see that as a viable solution. They envision the father leaving, and paying the mother according arbitrary guidelines that are not related to the specific case in front of them. They also relegate the father to visitor status – a visitor to his own children – every other weekend.

Never good.

 

 

Slow Down!

What a different way of life.

Berkeley is unique in many ways. I had to deprogram myself and relax into a a slower and more reasonable pace of life while I lived there this summer and fall.

I learned that in Berkeley, pedestrians actually do have the right of way. What that means is that if a driver sees a pedestrian put one foot on the ground in an attempt to cross the street, they must stop driving and allow the passenger to cross the street. If not, they can get fined.

I saw many instances where people would just start walking out into the street and cars stopped cold. It wasn’t like they screeched to a halt, since no one drives too crazy. They just slowed down and let people pass in front of them.

There were times when I would get close to a corner and all traffic would stop. I would wave to have the vehicles move past me but they insisted I go across in front of them. As I crossed, I would wave my hand to gesture “thank you” like I do in the Big Apple, but they were just doing what they normally do and waited for me to cross the road patiently.

There were times when I felt frustrated with the pace of things. When the traffic was at a standstill at a few corners, I felt they would be better off with stoplights. But people just took turns and everything worked out the way it was supposed to.

it was sooooo laid back. People in Northern CA seem like they try to avoid stress as much as they can. I prefer that way of life.

When I got back to NYC, it seemed as if it’s the exact opposite.

I’m glad I found my new home- California! I love it there.

Don’t Touch My “Fro”


My little man has grown out his “fro” as he calls it. I ain’t mad at him.

He has worked on this over the past four months. Maybe he is ready to take a knee, play for the 49ers, be part of the resistance or just be the coolest son this father could ever want.

I say stay out of politricks son, it’s a trap!! Grow up to become a free thinker and just be yourself lil’ man.

I’m happy to be back in the city to be a father to my kids. I miss little things like this.

Remote Parent

 

I tasted a bit of the life of a father who is cut off from his kids. I’ve been away from my kids since July 9th of this year. The last time I saw them was in the middle of August, and that was only for about five hours.

It is the beginning of November as of the writing of this post.

My separation was voluntary. I accepted a short term job offer on the other side of the country with the expectation that making this sacrifice now will lead to longer term employment down the road. As it stands now, I have no idea if this was the right move. What I do know is that I’ll never choose to be away from my kids for this long again.

Never again.

The father who has fewer options and is separated from his kids due to a vindictive mother and/or the family court system has it worse than I do. My pain is self inflicted. I can only imagine how awful it is to know that the court system forced them away from their own flesh and blood.

It truly is a miserable experience being away from my children. I do not recommend being apart from your kids for work reasons for long. It’s just not worth the money most of the time.

I know for a fact that my children need me to be there for them. I’m missing out on months of their school year. I’m missing out on seeing them transition to new schools, meeting their new friends, new teachers, and new experiences. I can’t answer the questions they might have, address their concerns about schoolwork, engage with them regarding their thoughts about current events. I’m not able to fully engage because I’m not there. Being on the phone and speaking to them is one thing, connecting through video chat is another. Being face to face is a whole other ballgame.

It’s important for fathers to be present in a child’s every day life. They need our guidance, perspective and protection. The post-divorce model of “every other weekend” dad just doesn’t cut it. It is incredibly inadequate and doesn’t provide the necessary balance a child needs in their formative years.

Attempts at remote parenting are futile. Trying to stay close by chatting on the phone is similar to having a long distance relationship. It might work for some, but just imagine if you could only see your partner every other weekend? How close do you think you could actually be in the long run? Would you want a husband or wife if you could only see them this way for 18 years?

I’m glad I have the option of being away from my kids and not being forcibly removed. I won’t make this decision ever again. Most divorced fathers don’t get this opportunity. The feeling of powerlessness is overwhelming at times. Not being able to have a physical as well as spiritual connection is demoralizing and dispiriting.

I’m no longer choosing the remote parent model. I’m sticking close to my kids and watching them grow up up close.

 

Clayton Craddock is a stay-at-home father of two children in New York City. He has a B.B.A from Howard University’s School of Business and is also a 17 year veteran of the fast paced New York City music scene. He has played drums in a number of hit Broadway musicals including “tick…tick…BOOM, Memphis the Musical and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Audra McDonald. He has worked on other musicals; Footloose, Motown, The Color Purple, Bare, Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, Evita, Cats, and Avenue Q and is currently the drummer in a new Broadway bound musical titled Ain’t Too Proud.
Clayton has written for A Voice For Men, The Good Men Project and is writing a memoir about fatherhood.