what I’ve been up to

It’s been a little while. Things have been crazy for me lately and as a result, things like posting here have fallen by the wayside.

Here’s a list of things I’ve been up to and a few observations I’ve made:

  • playing in a church band
    • Ever notice how musicians refer to pieces of sheet music at “charts?” I love this vernacular, as though the sheet music is a map, leading the reader on a voyage to parts unknown.
  • directing a short film I wrote
    • When creating on a large scale, building the infrastructure around you is as important as anything else. Surround yourself with people capable of helping you orchestrate accidents, capable of finding and handling magic. Look for like-hearted individuals with whom you want to march into battle.
    • Sometimes, the sole reason for finishing a creative project is so you can come out on the other side and say, “Oh, now I know I can do that!”
    • Little miracles occur when you’re focused on building a community of people to collaborate with.
from my short film “We All Say God,” featuring Will Rothaar
  • crafting an idea for a novel
    • Write the thing that terrifies you. Go to the personal place, to the darkest corners of your experience. Shine a light on what lives there. These may be the only things worth writing about.
  • researching and drafting a play I’ve been mulling for seven years
    • Ideas are like fruit: they need to ripen. Sometimes, you’re not always the person capable of capturing the idea you have. You need to work, to languish, to change, to grow into the person capable of channeling the idea before you. My biggest creative accomplishment over the last two years is the work I’ve done on myself.

Also, some worthwhile reading and watching I’ve done:

  • Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson– an insightful spiritual guide through NBA Coach Phil Jackson’s career with the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers. This was an invaluable resource as I prepared to direct my short, as I wanted to craft a spiritual centeredness and sense of presence on set.
  • Winning Time: The Rise of The Lakers Dynasty — I’ve been on a basketball kick, can’t you tell? Some dynamite writing, directing, and acting. Incredible technique, some first-rate breaking of the fourth wall, and a story that’ll get your blood pumping.
  • The Fairly Odd Parents — sometime, you just need to get stoned and watch cartoons, ya know? I’m amazing how well this series from my childhood has aged, with jokes that still land, life lessons I didn’t even know I was getting, and some of the best opening title music out there.
  • The Shadow Club and The Shadow Club Rising by Neal Shusterman — two more flashbacks to my upbringing. These YA novels from Neal Shusterman stuck with me for years. It’s only after rereading these books for the first time since junior high that I realized how profoundly they shaped my outlook on the world.