30 April 2007

Inaugural Post

Every step of this process is straining against the ever growing conviction that it'll never work, it's just gonna be a big stress ball, I'm only gonna learn how truly I suck, I'll end up talking myself into some kind of obligation I'll soon sorely regret, and I'm bound to do something that'll upset a friend at some point. But, carrying on!...

This was borne of a conversation yesterday with Deb that covered a lot of territory. It started, maybe, because I'd been awake much of the night trying to work out the particulars of an "e-mail chain game" I imagined, called Re:anonymizer/de-anonymizer, that was supposed to somehow reveal that personal observations of friends are re-shaped in the public sphere--reveal, in other words, the obvious--or was supposed to accumulate interesting stories about the participants. I'm not sure what it was supposed to do, but in trying to describe it aloud to Deb once she woke up, it quickly lost the appeal it'd had with the lights out. Anyway, I said I'd been watching SNL and MadTV the night before, and was noticing in the commercial ads between segments how many goofy skits there were. It struck me that that's a good way to get into the comedy writing business, by devising goofy skits for ads and marketing them to the ad agencies. After a while, I had to remind myself that I wasn't trying to get in to the comedy writing business. But talking about it led to talking about a couple of Jesse's TSOYA shows I'd listened to recently; one, interviewing Roz Chast and Bill Hader, described their processes for generating a half-dozen or so comics every week
, in Roz's case, for the New Yorker, and skits, in Bill's case, for SNL; and the other, with Jonathan Coulton, related some of his experiences with his Thing-a-Week project, wherein he committed himself to writing a song every week and posting it on his website.

And so, here we are. By the end of that conversation, I'd decided to try to post something on a blog every week (or so?), that manifests some sort of creative expression. Something more than just a journal entry, although I s'pose the regular journalling is probably a good base for generating something more creative. Anyway, I don't know what format it'll be in from time to time. I imagine I'll be figuring out how to post a lot of photographs of stuff I'm doing. I imagine, too, that I'll be filling some weeks in with stuff I've already done in the past. Wait... that sounds like a cop-out. Okay, not in the past, but stuff I'm working on now... or, say, within the past month -- so at the start, here, I can clear the vaults of things I've been recently up to, while I get myself up to speed. Or, I can post old stuff, but it doesn't absolve my responsibility for up-to-date creativity.

The point here, is that I've got a lot of creative outlets in my life, and a fair-sized dollop of creative talent, but I don't feel (a) like I'm using it nearly as much, or in the way that might be best suited to me; and (b) (probably synonymous with (a)) like I'm enjoying the creative process even a fraction as much as I'd like to. This is where all the growing convictions I mentioned in the first sentence come in. See, I own a sign shop that only makes hand-painted, hand-crafted signs, a real anomaly in the current urban landscape. I got involved with it eight years ago, when I resolved to get myself into a "creative work ethic", wherein I was using creative energy on a daily basis. And, a couple years back, I helped an eight-year-old friend form a band, to pursue his dreams of rock'n'roll superstardom. He writes all the songs, and even though he's eleven now, he's still bringing back warped missives from whatever planet his brain resides on. Oh, and I go to an acting class, have done for two years now. We're putting on a play starting this week; a two week run of The Good Doctor, a Neil Simon play based on Chekhov stories. And an old band I was in, in the '90s, is coming out with a 'retrospective' CD/DVD package, for which I'm designing the packaging. And SFMOMA has asked me to design the calendar page for an upcoming newsletter.

So, there's a lot to do, right? A lot of ways to be all arty. I don't know why I'm finding it so hard to enjoy any of it. In fact, I can go down the list and itemize why I find each venture baleful. I apparently have an 'attitude problem'. Anyway, I just want to shake this shit up, and re-jigger how I'm looking at it, so here goes. I don't particularly want to add more responsibility to the plate, but more to organize what I'm up to in a manageable fashion, maybe. I'm not sure what I'm doing here, really. But I sure as hell can't spend hours and days composing long-ass blog entries like this. Consider yourself introduced. I've got to quit this and spend some time focussing on characterization for my roles in the play. It's opening in 2 nights, and I'm way behind the ball!