Wednesday, June 25, 2003

yesterday: 4 hours in record studio giving direction on radio spot to actors and recorder. 6 hours in office going over paperwork, talent release forms and equipment requests. 2 hours in tv studio editing tv spot. 2 hours soul searching.

today: 4 hours in tv studio going over color editing and tape to tape. color editor just worked with bon jovi on his music video... got to see pics of bon jovi before they erased the wrinkles on his face. gave opinions about tv scenes. 4 hours learning the ropes, getting the CDs of the radio spot sent to the client and our own internal creatives, and going through the storyboard for the new big account. production companies just sent in director bids for the new commercial, so tomorrow.. go over the videos and maybe pick a director by the end of the week. set up conference call for tomorrow's re-record of a radio spot.

am i happy with this job?

i got out at six pm today, and spent the night in east village. tomorrow, i'm starting my contact list of directors, their agents, and production companies. and check my ego and material ambitions at the door. i'm not sure yet.
I'm on the chase, not knowing where to go, or what to bring, or who to meet.

I know what I've left behind: monetary security, family stability, prestige and the safe confines of my ego. And ahead? Who knows, dreams that change with every new insight and conversation.

I've become an associate producer.

It's a hard choice, certainly. But I'm agonizing because I don't know if it's the right choice. There are people who can't do anything else but what their passion dictates; you hear that about actors and writers all the time. But I'm a part of the other group, the ones that have choices. And choices are definitely more daunting to face. I know I am good at finance. I know I can succeed at it. I know I'm not happy in it. Now. But what if? What if happiness in the present doesn't matter when you can provide for your loved ones in the future? Instead, I'm stepping into a highly coveted and scarce job, yes, but a job without a saftety net. One wrong step, one miscue from luck and I'm tossed into the trashbin of so many college dropouts and wanna be creatives, who only get bitter and desperate at 35 because their life is spend in pursuit of ideals which fail to materialize. It's a sickening thought for me. More so because I know I can compete with my peers, those lawyers and doctors and engineers - those successful entrenched upper middle class peers... but I like to think I'm doing something different and brave and bold, something that appeals to my soul and my creativity - to my desire to find more meaning out of life besides a paycheck and the security of .. well, being secure.

But maybe I'm deluding myself. Maybe I like to fantasize and live in this world where the P.Diddy or Rob Reiner are possibilities and not freaks of statistics. Maybe I like the idea that I'm a rash independent creative when all I should be is to be smart and take a job that will give me a house in the surburbs by the time I'm 28 and a Porsche by 34 - I mean, one has to think about retirement nest eggs, right?

So I don't know. Faith and a blind understanding that somehow things will turn out ok. That I'm smart enough to take care of myself now. That my life isn't a game any longer.

Friday, June 20, 2003

People moving about pondering about waiting about fretting about. Airport terminals are like cocoons, just a pit stop before the madcap race begins; where are they going? Somewhere important, as bald men in pinstriped suits and gray haired women reading lingerie magazines and kids with dirty unlaced shoes (all staying for just an infinitesimal short stay at my terminal) are going somewhere. I, like many other quarter-lifers, am going nowhere cause I am in such a rush reach the plateau of my contentment - but nothing is settled, nothing is decided and nothing doing. I want everything to be a perfect Raphael madonna and yet I’m still grappling with an angular cubist Picasso. All upside down inside out inside my head and not very reflective of the natural external scenes. It’s all about the scenes, you know!

When I was in middle school I wanted to be in high school where kids have cars and study important stuff (like European history and Anatomy). When I was in college I debated existentialism on oak tree-d lawns and finance in cedar paneled lecture rooms, but I wanted to get to real life so I can get a real apartment with a real bed and a real entertainment system (plasma screen and Bose surround sound!) – real drapes and real stainless steel kitchen – all paid for by a real exciting job. And six months ago in the depths of a hellish job all I wanted was to be anywhere but my window office and my glamorous lifestyle – my four bedroom house (complete with a studio and a backyard with a gazebo) and my flatscreen HDTV and XBox and my lonely weekend at martini lounges and my $200 dinners. Three months ago I was reveling alone on mountaintops and next to blue beaches and under the Great Barrier Reef – I was free from corporate-dom and its insidious politics, but yet, the uneasy thought of coming back to the States won’t let go of my sensibilities - the thought of unresolved careered ambitions and the lack of, oh yes, a job, weighed heavily on my uplifted soul; and more, now I wasn’t so lonely, cause traveling meant meeting other travelers, and travelers (especially backpackers) had no walls or boundaries or reason not to be affable and communal and uncomplicated; I also found time to have a girlfriend and she was great and now it wasn’t about work all the time but more about people and places and things that made living livable, and yet, and yet there was the nagging doubt, the lump of want, like an itch that subsides with the distractions of superfluous activity but is aggravated with incessant inactivity. And so, here I am, inactive most of the time and thinking, man, I want more. More than an attentive and supportive girlfriend, more than time off, more than just a job and just a life and just a city – but what am I talking about? More? I’m living in New York and leisure time I have in abundance and money I have in spite of worries and companionship I have even if love is stillborn. What do I have to complain about?

I should be writing and be young and glad! Get it together! Deal!

Life are but moments strung together, like flickering lanterns, an ocean of impressions and emotions, lapping onto the shore of eternity. I confront change by embracing the movement, the need to want more – everything changes, and I concede to the imperious fickleness of me, of my environment.

Chase the moon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

9 am and I'm shifting the weight onto my right leg at the Lexington station between Park and Third. What a dreary bleary day. I'm looking at the stooped figures stretched taut by undistinguished lives, the weight of their worlds, of smudge-faced kids and tired rents and rote mute sex - of grey cubicles of greyer departed dreams of hurried lunches at the office - weighing on their sagging shoulders, peering into the gaping tunnel mouth, waiting for the E train to come, to whisk them to oblivion, to their oblivious lives. I shuffled closer to the edge. Dark and dank and dripping. White haired men in their striped suits stand erect next to sinking middle-aged women whose caked faces stood immovable to the realities of time. A black man with neatly pressed trousers and a blue solid tie read the entertainment section of the paper while a Hispanic girl twiddled with her greasy stringy hair, her cheap rubber sneakers squeaking on the stained wet floor. Kids in baggy T-shirts and mothers in worn pumps and gay men in tight hugging jeans. And I'm standing with them, all tired people, tired of a morning with nothing to talk about nothing to smile about nothing to think about.

Then this fella comes. All five feet four inches of him - brown skinned and dark eyes - throws down his case, leans against the dirty wall, scans the platform, and begins to play. Ode to Joy. Ludwig Beethoven stopped by the 53rd street station, lower platform, third section, and he was all about himself. He was all over the insolent refrain, the steady steps of major notes, the lilting cascading golden motif. But the fella pays no notice to Beethoven (cause he was just playing his song) and just keeps on playing the mellow yellow notes, a little vibrato here, a quick dash to an archipeggio, still andate but oh so sweet, so delectable in the curved womb of the subway. The violin was throbbing, casually spilling out thoughts of ecstasy and liberty and redemption and the tired people couldn't help themselves but to look up. The vacuous pupils brightened cause the day was brightened. Bent figures straightened because the morning was straightened. And Beethoven shuffled off cause in all his symphonies, all his blaring brass parts and timpanies and celloes and basses - in all of that - he couldn't compare, he couldn't comprehend the symphony that was before him; that of a gruff steady single violin, holding on to the rivers of melodies while the orchestra of a New York morning swelled to accompany... the screeching of the train comes haltering into the station, the pittering thumps of a thousand passengers rushing in and out of sliding doors, summer coughs and a crazy homeless rant, muffled sirens above ground and disparate laughs and earnest conversations below ground, elbows brushing against each other and shoes sliding and stomping and clackity-clacking on cement pavements - it was an earnest morning, a hopeful morning drowned in reality, bagel breakfasts and reheated dinners and the loneliness of watching re-runs and reality shows and late night talk shows. It was all a symphony of sounds and thoughts, come crashing together in this curved moment.

Maybe living is simple after all.

Monday, June 16, 2003

woa. who are you guys? voyeurs and peeps and pseudo-intelligentistas. malcontents and neurotics. bubbly fubbly anime loving fiends living in your own weirded out worlds, fantastical dreamers of dragon swords and starships, of happy hazy days and what? self-help loving desirers of completion? or maybe not. maybe type As yowassup with tha shinitz down wit dat, maybe PDA toking, bong smoking, semi-charmed wonderguys aiming for golden towers. where are you going? how did you stop here? stop.

stop. look. see me yet? i didn't think so. look harder. see yourself?

kick back, listen to that jazz rolling off, bumping yellowing and grinding over... there ya go.

much love,


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