First Blog Post Ever Ever

July 9th 2017

After running into one of Regan’s Casteel’s blog posts on Facebook (a fresh excited composition undergrad colleague whom I don’t know that well), I thought to myself, why don’t I have a blog? So here we are.

It’s an idea I’ve been playing around with every now and then for the past few years. I’m in the habit of keeping around a small journal that I use to write down quotes or thoughts I run across, and I’ve occasionally have had moments where I’ll sit down and vomit out a few pages of text in one sitting, spelling out an abstract idea I can’t stop thinking about. On music, art, how audiences might think, how I think, stuff like that. These usually happen as a reaction to other media, like a thought-provoking film, TV episode, concert, or lecture.

So sure. Why not make a blog? It took five minutes to integrate it into my unfinished website and a few more to figure out how I wanted to format it. I don’t expect myself to keep up with it, but hey, I should be writing more. Why not start? I’ll set a reasonable expectation. It’s summer. I have a lot of free time. How about one update a week? More if I like. There, I’ve said it. Maybe I’ll do it.

Even though I’m a composition major at the Eastman School of Music I consider myself a writer as well since also I write words sometimes. Theatre mostly. Or theatre that is integrated into the music that I write.

Actually, I have a play I’m supposed to be working on. It’s being produced starting this September. And it’s not done yet.

Well it’s mostly done. Here’s the backstory: I’m in an acting guild of about forty people large at the University of Rochester called TOOP. The Opposite of People. You audition to get in (I auditioned as a writer) and every semester they student-produce a few shows and run them in this tiny little building. It’s similar to what I imagine a Greek fraternity might be like? But theatre is thrown into the mix. I wrote most of a experimental one act play in my playwriting class last spring semester and submitted it as a proposal in it’s unfinished state and a promise to complete it for the group to produce and for me to direct. The Art of Trying, it’s called. And to my surprise they fucking voted it in. It’s one of two shows the group will be dedicated to make happen next semester.

The show is a self-referential pretentious mess. Intentionally. It’s one of those experiences where form precedes content. There’s no traditional plot. The takeaways are convoluted and not spelled out to you. It deals with themes that I barely understand myself. There’s more that I could say about it, but I want to go though the process of producing and showing it to people (and finishing it) before I go too much depth into what it’s about. I want to keep the experience of seeing it a surprise.

I have no idea how folks will take it. From what I gathered, TOOP was excited to do the show because of its design potential and inexpensiveness to produce, so I don’t know if I have them sold on the concept of the show yet. I haven’t talked with any of them about it yet. My guess is that they don’t quite understand it yet, but are still looking for reasons to be eager to. Hopefully I’ll be able to go forward with directing the show in a way that’s fruitful for those involved. I’d like to think that I have a few tricks up my sleeve….hehe.

I haven’t had much energy to work on the play these days though. It’s mostly done. I have only one large scene left to write out, a section or two to expand, and some last edits before I can feel ready to start hitting it with rehearsals. But I’ve been having to fight with my own health to find the drive to work. If you’ve read this far, I guess I can feel comfortable in diving into some more personal stuff, since you’re now investing your time in reading this thing, and as an extension, investing your time to know me better by reading this personal soap box I’ve made for myself. I’ve been juggling different anti-depressant medications for the past year trying to find the right match with my head chemistry that will improve my mood and give me more energy and will to do the things I enjoy and live life normally. I rarely have the energy to do the creative work that working on the play requires. To be frank, most of the time I only have enough energy to idle around on the internet, play dumb video games, or sleep.

With low energy and medications comes bizarre sleep habits. My summers have typically been liberal with swapping my days and nights, but the side effects of the medications along with bad sleeping habits have brought even stranger sleep patters, being awake for 6-26 hours and being asleep for anywhere from 8-15 hours. It makes daily life a strange out of sync dream with the rest of the world.

Despite the side effects though that come with adjusting doses and pills, I think in the past few weeks I might have finally found a medication and dose that is doing something good. I feel more up, more happy in general as of late than I have in the past few years. More of a drive to do things like spontaneously start writing a blog. I guess I have that going for me, which is nice. Comes with a few dietary restrictions. Can’t have cheese. Or soy. Or sausage. But I’d rather feel better than have those things.

A nice thought like that feels like a good place to start wrapping things up. Blog post #1. First ever. Wow.

Should I post this on Facebook? I guess I should. I probably shouldn’t every time. I might sometimes choose to write about more private things that I don’t feel as comfortable shouting out to the world. But other times it might be stuff I’m interested in hearing other’s thoughts on. This post is somewhere in the middle. What the hell, I’ll post it.

Here’s a picture of a dog stolen from my mom’s Facebook. One of mine growing up, half jack russell half corgi. Her name was Mariah. Thanks for reading.

Mariah the dog.

Mariah. Good dog.

Btw, this website is unfinished. You’ll know, it tells you. I need to finish it. Maybe this blog will help motivate me.