Created by VictorInfanteWorcester
'This Is Magic': Stagnation Is the Enemy
New podcast, new TV show, same old journalist
This morning, a maintenance man from the Dish Network came and repaired my Samsung washing machine. I am told that this is a normal state of affairs, and to tell the truth, I'm not much use repairing anything mechanical at all. I always have a list of things that need repaired, and I knock them off one at a time, as resources allow.
And yet, I realize that I've been putting myself through a process of reconstruction lately. I've been throwing myself into projects, trying to learn new skills or brush up old ones which have grown weak from disuse. Some of the projects have been of my own devising, some have been opportunities presented by others, but I've been drawn to all of them by the trinity of motivations that always drives me: A desire to create and present art, a nearly pathological aversion to boredom and a deep-seated fear of stagnation.
I've started promoting shows again, the next one being Farmfest Rocks June 30 at Ralph's Rock Diner, followed by the second Midnight Mystery Cabaret, Sept. 22 at Nick's Bar and Restaurant. I've had to give myself some operating parameters for putting together shows: I'm favoring community involvement and highlighting artists and groups that might otherwise get neglected in the public eye. As I've said elsewhere, the only good reasons to put together shows are for community, art or commerce, and I have certain restrictions on me when it comes to the last, so I try to instead make the shows I do extensions of my journalism. This is what I've been talking about, I'm saying. Look at this. This is magic.
But there are personal skills that go with promoting shows, and like any skills, they atrophy if you don't use them. I've always enjoyed being a ringmaster, after all, or maybe just a carnival barker. Whichever it is, I'm having certainly fun.
I've also been trying to venture into new areas. Recently, i've been contributing to the Telegram & Gazette's From the Newsroom podcast series, and we've just launched a new one, Worcester Culture Watch, where writers and editors from the T&G's Lifestyle Section will be discussing Worcester's arts, entertainment and culture.
We did the first one this week, with Craig Semon and I talking about the city's 'Wormtown" nickname, and its rock and hip-hop scenes. The podcast also features theme music composed by DJ Manipulator, which is way cooler than we deserve.
I've also starting taping a TV show, Got It Covered, for WCCA, where I'll be talking to some of the artists who've participated in my Great Cover Song Challenges. We've already shot the first episode, and should finished shooting next month.
It's been an extremely interesting process, involving a lot of skills I've never really needed to know before, even when I've appeared on TV. I've been literally learning how a TV show is put together, and that's been fascinating.
Apropos of nothing, I've also been using Duolingo to brush up on my Spanish, which had gotten woefully rusty. Unused skills vanish, but you can get them back if you're willing to work.
The trick, of course, is to do all of this while not abandoning the things I'm already doing. I'll admit, the energy I'm expending now has detracted from my writing poetry and fiction, but I've also felt like I've needed to let things percolate a bit longer on that front before I return to them. And my writing for the paper is the day job, so it has to be my priority. This week, for instance, I wrote about Ali Zagame's new album, which I rather enjoyed.
I had written just a couple weeks ago about Zagame's music video for the album's title track, Brutally Honest. I don't generally like to write about an artist twice so close together, but sometimes that's just how it lands. In any case, she's doing good work, the kind of work to which I love to draw attention.
I've always preferred to write about local and independent acts, rather than national ones. I can't imagine anything I write having any effect whatsoever on Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar or Taylor Swift, for good or ill. But if I keep mostly regional, I can actually help people find an artist they might not otherwise have found. there are far worse jobs, but the nature of that job is changing rapidly, becoming more multimedia based, and I have to be prepared.
Stagnation, after all, is the enemy. Stagnation means you're finished, and I still have work to do.
Created by VictorInfanteWorcester