Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Catch a Falling Star

Rachel Ginsberg

How do former child stars navigate life after the glitz and glitter is gone? As he took his bows, he knew it would be his last performance. He put down the mike that had become his best friend, high-fived the sound technician, put his nose into the heavy curtain with its magical theater smell, took in the last breath of backstage air, threw his costume into the pile, and waved a casual goodbye to the new, younger blood — knowing they were taking his place. He was a has-been. And he was just 14.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

For five years, AriHeinemanwas a celebrity. He was the linchpin of several boys’ choirs, sang at HASC concerts, was featured on kids’ tapes and was a star soloist with Miami Boys Choir. And then in the summer of 1989 he went the way of every teenager. His voice changed. “I knew it was the end,” Ari remembers of his last glitzy days in the limelight. He had a repertoire of about 15 memorable steady concert solos, sang Miami’s famous “AchasSha’alti” concert medley for a few years, and was a soloist on the Shabbos in Yerushalayim album. By the time he was 14, he’d traveled all over the world with Miami. “I was nervous because everyone was warning me, ‘Ari, what’s gonna be with your voice?’ ” Ari was one of the luckier ones. After three years of croaking through adolescence, his adult voice emerged, and it sounded pretty good. (“It was a real matanah,” says Ari, “because not everyone has such mazel.”) But no matter what comes later, once that cherubic prepubescent voice is gone, the curtain comes down. Every bochur, no matter how successful or talented, lives with his inevitable internal countdown. Where are they now, those singing sensations we adored as they pranced around the stage in perfectly choreographed moves, or listened to over and over again as their sweet soprano voices blended with ours in camp, in school, and at kumzitzes? On one level, the answer is simple: They grew up. But how does one become a regular adult when at age 10 or 11 he already tasted the thrill and glitz of stardom? “It was definitely a letdown,” Ari remembers. While his voice was in limbo, Ari relied on sports to perk himself up. Today Ari, 39, is still performing, but in a different venue. He’s a “meatologist” — he rules the meat department at the Monsey supermarket Rockland Kosher, where he creates and designs delectable hearty spreads, and lectures and advises his avid customers on myriad ways of preparing their Shabbos and Yom Tov fare. What do you need to become a meatologist? “You have to be a mumcheh in meat,” he says. “I have about 50 different marinades for customers going right now.” Ari’s impressive meat counter is his stage, and he keeps his customers entertained in an energetic flourish of service. There are no lights here, but he never forgot how to work a crowd.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you