Anyone still here. Geez – I disappear for a few months and suddenly my former home is a dilapidated shack with weeds growing everywhere. It’s a good thing I returned when I did. Another couple months and some squatters would have likely come along and made this domain their own. I’m a busy man – the last thing I have time for is going twelve rounds with GoDaddy.
Well, as luck would have it for you longtime loyal readers – my Edizens… I’m back, baby. And I have no intention of leaving you high and dry ever again.
Not when I’ve officially cemented more frequent blogging into my New Year’s Resolutions. More on that in a minute… but first, I feel it’s only fitting that I bring you up to speed on where I’ve been.
So – as most of you know – late last Summer, I dove headfirst into a major extracurricular project. With my script for The Lost World (the second play I ever wrote) completely burning a hole in my pocket, I kickstarted 2013 with one mission statement… or resolution, as it were. Simply put, I resolved to find The Lost World a home. After all, I was coming off the euphoria of staging my first play – The Monkeybar Mafia – in the Fall of 2012 and that experience left me with such a positive charge that I had to chase the next fix. Knowing that the same troupe that staged Monkeybar had their dance card full for 2013 (meaning it would be a full year and then some before they would have room for The Lost World) I decided to beat the bushes in hopes of finding someone else who might take it in.
That all seems so easy on paper BUT it’s decidedly less so when you aren’t exactly a household name. Productions come with baggage. It’s a lot of work bringing even the most basic play to life. Heck, look at all the blood, sweat and tears that goes into staging an elementary school holiday recital. So – some dude coming off the street with a script under his arm and only one local credit to his name is going to have to really work hard to spin his tale into gold. Don’t know how I turned myself into Rumpelstiltskin but just go with it.
Well – fate shined on me when a neighbor contacted me last January looking to see if I could come to the town Recreation Committee meeting to tell them how they could go about bringing theater to their town. I had NO CLUE how to bring theater to town so my first inclination was to move… BUT then my synapses started snapping and I realized that in 5 years of extracurricular theater work (mostly acting in community theater shows) I had picked up enough via osmosis to at least lend some food for thought. I could get them on their way. And who knows – maybe there would be single chicks there. (Editor’s Note: There wasn’t.)
That meeting ended up planting seeds that bore fruit this past Fall as a few of the members had seen Monkeybar when it was staged and asked if I had anything new on the burner. Well, as luck would have it, I was hoping somebody would find The Lost World – and as the night wore on, we started realistically entertaining the notion of staging The Lost World as an opening salvo to a potential long-lasting theater company in the town. This would be developed completely independently; and as I was on board to direct – I was in charge of pulling together a production crew from my various friends, acquaintances and local contacts.
What followed was one long project that almost became a second full-time job in its own right. After all – I was working with town government and granted access to town facilities (including their glorious stage nestled in the stately Town Hall) so there were the typical lines of red tape that needed to be crossed. When Monkeybar was produced I had the full backing of a 35 year theater company – one with hundreds of members who all had their own avenues of expertise. If we needed props, we called on one of the expert prop builders who would show up at a moment’s notice to build us a fictional novel for our Book Club scenes. When we decide to construct a split set – with a living room on one half and a playground on the other – their amazing set builders went to town and made it happen.
With The Lost World, everything was cobbled together from scratch – a true grass roots effort; meaning on Saturdays I was making way too many trips to Michael’s Arts and Crafts for one man – and then on Sundays, I was eyeballing the Patriots game with one orb while focusing on my prop building with the other; as well as building sets, working with the sound guy, hunting down lighting, rewriting segments of the script and of course – the actual act of directing actors to find their characters.
The play opened over the weekend of November 1st – playing three shows to incredibly enthusiastic crowds. Against all odds – we did it. It was INCREDIBLY HARD WORK. One of those tasks that used to see me springing from bed – morning after morning – wondering how and why I ever thought I could do it in the first place. Fortunately, as the sun continued to crest and the coffee worked its way into my system, that foolish bravado kicked the daily worries to the curb and by the time I laid my head down on the bed to close out another day, I was completely confident we could ace this. Until I woke the next day. That cycle continued for months!!!
So – that’s where I’ve been – working hard to make sure my 2013 resolution stuck. I read the other day that according to a recent study – 92% of Americans do not stick with their New Year’s Resolution. Put me in the 8% – for 2013, at least.
In 2014 – I aim to stay there.
In the days leading up to New Years, I was wracking my brain trying to think of something worth doing. I already go to the gym 3-5 days a week, so fitness is already in the profile. I could eat better and have made steps towards that (simple things – less sweets; more veggies)… so like wishes with a genie, I’m not wasting my resolution on that one.
Finally, a light bulb. One day – just before the end of the year – I realized I had neglected this parcel of land that I have been tending since 2006. When you don’t write, people don’t read. I’ve always harbored suspicions that no matter what I write out here, my readers have dwindled. People are busy. Attention spans are slight. I blame Twitter. Yes, this will come back to bite me in the ass in a minute.
But I think I have used that line of thought as a crutch to just get real lazy.
I know someone out there is reading this stuff… and nothing thrills me more than when I get a comment from someone; proving that something I wrote made a connection. I’ve long said, I am the biggest fan that great conversation ever had. So – when I write this stuff – I’m lobbing it out there in hopes it sparks a retort. And then I’ll talk back. Oh boy, will I talk back.
Over the years, I’ve heard from complete strangers who found my site by complete happenstance while searching the wild, wild web – and they liked what they saw and decided to stay. That is HUGE and every time I think of tossing in the towel, one of these travelers happens to darken my doorway – compelling me to linger a little longer.
So, I owe it to them. And to you. And to me, especially. These thoughts are just rattling around my brain pan. Might as well pour ’em out here.
And I have just the resolution to insure I’ll write more frequently.
In 2014, I aim to experience 12 New Things I’ve Never Done. It could be anything. A food I’ve never had. A movie I’ve never seen. A plane I’ve never jumped from. The sky is the limit. For some of these, I’ll lob it out to my Facebook Friends List and sort through their suggestions until I find something interesting. The hook is I have to do the thing and then write all about it. Right there – you are guaranteed AT LEAST 12 new posts in 2014 BUT I don’t plan to stop there. I’ve found that when I start writing and work the rust off, the gears start spinning and it leads to more and more content. If I get a thought that I can really grab hold of, I’m pinning it down here and hopefully, that will ignite the conversation with all of you.
For January, I was at a loss to find my opening salvo. I’ve had people toss a 10K at me (which I’m going to make happen when it’s a little warmer than my New England environs currently afford). I also had another guy throw a visit to something called The King of Doughnuts. One of those mythic, “can’t-find-on-any map”, “gotta’-locate-and-destroy-8-Horcruxes-to-enter” kinda’ places. I’m thinking after that trip, two 10Ks are in order. That dude’s wife is expecting a baby any day now – so our Quest for Spare Tire – is on hold until later this year.
The other day, a friend asked if I am on Twitter in response to some silly little thing I wrote on Facebook last week. I was riffing on the media infatuation with the term “polar vortex”, a weather phenomenon I had never heard of in 41 years on the planet but in the past 5 days was trending far above poor, neglected Kimye. Imagine the fun the SyFy channel could have if that thing ever met a volcano. “Polar Vorcano vs. Firecane“, for starters. Hey – this is what happens in Ed’s head.
So, she asked the simple question – “Do you Tweet?”
My answer – “No”.
Hers – “You should.”
In fact, I have long said I would NEVER Tweet – citing the 140 character limitation as being a complete violation of all I hold sacred.
But her simple question – and my quest for new experiences – ignited something. 140 characters would make for a great challenge this year… and I could also utilize Twitter to further my goals; get The Ed Zone some more exposure AND also pimp my productions. I’ve got a Lost World redux on deck for the Spring (at a new venue) and a new play that I’m looking to stage in the Fall.
Twitter seemed like the perfect way to start the New Year. Who knew 140 characters would lead to the thousands I just spent here?
This morning I composed by first tweet. Thankfully, I did NOT break Twitter.
But there’s always 2015.