It's the perfect metaphor for Charles Carmody, and it should be used over and over: He really is a one-man band (except for when he’s playing in his 5-person radio active mutant circus rockabilly band). A musician, a writer, a comedian, an event planner and the force and director behind the reinvention of the Charleston Music Hall.
It's easy to imagine Charles with a guitar, a kick-drum, a harmonica and a prop or two, standing on the corner of King Street playing, because he actually used to play on the street in his two-man improv band, Introducing Fish Taco.
Charles is known as this impressive risk-taker. He drives across country alone to live in a city where he knows no one. He creates his own jobs. He falls in love without pause with a girl who lives on another continent. He makes it all work, because, it could be argued, that all he does is work.
"I think progressive and risk certainly fit into the same sentence, category, hold hands and make out in the back of the bus,” he says. “One must be willing to risk their job, stability, comfort, hell, even rationale in order to progress."
His biggest risks are for the arts scene, because he thinks "music and art need to be fully integrated into the community." Charles continues, "Humans were made to create. Creation and community need to be one in the same, and we need to bridge the gaps between the artists and everyone else."
This was his motivation behind his hard work in making the Charleston Music Hall more than just a rental facility. Now the space is an organization that promotes national, regional and local talent.
"I want to help transform the space into a hub of creative conversation and to create diverse programming that ranges from the easily accessible to the most imaginative."
All of Charles' risk-taking, all of his educating and help are meant to promote happiness in his life and in Charleston.
Or, "Happiness' more refined older sibling: joy."
Words by: Elizabeth Bowers
Photography by: Karson Photography