So, yesterday I had the privilege of teaching a class on expressive singing for the summer intensive at Act Too Studio, heavily influenced by Dalcroze Eurhythmics methodology as well as my own personal experiences with understanding music through movement. I am never still when I sing alone in the studio, because moving with the music is a significant part of the way that I work with a piece (especially one that’s new), and I believe that this kind of whole-body immersion is key to my own expressiveness as a singer.
There’s a state of mind into which I fall much too easily. You know the state I mean—those moments (or days, or weeks, or even months) in which you are faced with so many things to do that you can’t actually do any of them—a state of over-committment (or at least perceived over-committment) that leads to paralyzation. Elizabeth Ann and I used to refer to this condition as “timelock.”
The only way out of timelock is to take a breath, pick just one thing, and do it. Lather, rinse, repeat. Unfortunately, compounding my tendency towards timelock is a near-perpetual state of indecision. Which thing must I do first? Which do I most want to do? What do I want to be when I grow up? Who (or what) am I?
I can’t answer any of these questions, except to say that I am a lifelong dilettante. I want to do everything. But since it is impossible for one person to do everything, I simply do many things not really well, but just enough to get by. And the older I get, the harder that is to pull off.
For example, here are all the things to which I have currently committed myself (in no particular order):
- Full-time job as Managing Director at FoodPlay Productions* (includes secondary jobs as head of IT and digital media)
- Editor and writer at Manga Bookshelf
- Host of July’s Manga Moveable Feast (featuring the works of CLAMP)
- Manga editor for the Digital Manga Guild (currently editing a very wordy supernatural josei series)
- Editor of upcoming manga guide for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
- Director of Really Rosie for Act Too Studio
- Voice & acting coach at Act Too Studio
Quite a number of these include major deadlines coming up this month. Other commitments include, you know, my marriage, that YA fantasy novel I’ve been trying to write for the past several years, and reclaiming my health (which involves things like this morning’s two-hour walk with my dog).
I look at this list and I think, “What the hell am I doing?” Do I want to be a writer? A journalist? An editor? A theater director? A teacher? A web developer? I’m 43 years old. PICK SOMETHING ALREADY.
Am I sabotaging myself by not choosing one thing and really giving it my focus? (The obvious answer is “yes.”) So what do I actually want to do? Who do I want to be?
The truth is, I simply don’t know. I want to be all of those things. And so I linger in an endless state of timelock, trying to choose one thing at a time and just barely getting by… for now.
*This is the job that pays the bills. Sort of.
Anyone who has been following me on Facebook or Twitter lately probably has caught on to the fact that Paul and I have finally gotten caught up in Battlestar Galactica, the 2003 “re-imagining” of the short-lived 1978 series. I’ve joked around about us living out this recent Portlandia sketch, but it’s just barely a joke. No, I haven’t played hooky from my job in order to keep the marathon running, but the series is in the back of my mind all the time, informing my understanding of the people around me and enriching my daily tasks with its big-picture thinking.
When I say “enriching,” I really mean it. To me, mulling over someone’s powerful storytelling isn’t a distraction from real life. It’s what helps me to process and understand the in-the-flesh interactions we often refer to as “real life,” and it’s certainly no less real. No, the aircraft carrier known as “Galactica” doesn’t exist. There are no twelve colonies of humans, searching for their thirteenth tribe. There are no sentient machines seeking to wipe out human existence. But that’s not what makes something “real,” at least in my definition of the word. [Read more…]
You’d think after all this time, I would know better than to read comments on YouTube. Most of the time, these things aren’t worth commenting on, but there’s something vital I feel people are missing when it comes to the Occupy movement. I keep seeing comments like this one, regarding a group of UC Davis students practicing civil disobedience by sitting peacefully on a sidewalk after being told to disperse by police officers: “Can somebody please tell me, how does sitting on your ass achieve social justice?”
Seriously? Didn’t you people ever watch Ghandi?
Some stuff came up after my original statement yesterday that I think needs to be clarified. Some I’ve already addressed in comments on Facebook, like the fact that no, I don’t think OWS is about healthcare, except that it certainly can be, since the corporate greed & influence OWS is protesting is responsible for the power insurance companies wield over our legislators.
Here are three questions and answers, though, to really clarify my position: [Read more…]