Saturday, November 27, 2010

If You Can't Run In It, Don't Put It On Your Feet: Another Keep On Pushin' Story

”What I feel about that iconic status is it takes a lot longer to achieve if you keep your clothes on than off,” 54-year-old punk pioneer Exene Cervenka says. “I just worked hard and quietly did my art.”

 Thanks to my friend Eric Dinwiddie for posting the article on Exene Cervenka. I don't know how long it has been since I played any "X" and I never knew that she was born Christine and took on Exene- I can testify that she was and now that I am 'caught-up', continues to be a major influence.

Background: during the early 90's I missed most of the pop music and opted for anything that was never gonna make mainstream radio waves. At home we were pretty religious about our music and movies all opening with a scratch and a hiss (vinyl spinning) or a crank and a crackle (film projecting). Jim Nabors, Nancy Sinatra, the Butthole Surfers, The Young Gods, The Didgits and yes, X. Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson had all abandoned the gifts that introduced us and were fully and obviously compensating for some long ago love lost- I've never been a fan of the LOOK AT ME! campaign, still can't stomach the pain driven pathos that leads folks to seek (spot)light.

I digress! The article on Exene hit home with me-- her art for art's sake, hard work and rocking to rally and really reach her fan base and move people meanwhile not that far away in her conscious intention she is pushing women and people to think think think- think about the clothes you're wearing and question- why do you want to look like a whore? why is this okay?

Why do we want the spotlight so badly? One of my favorite people in the whole wide world, someone I consider family had celebrity status imposed on her. She has enjoyed it, benefited by it and suffered for it, as have those closest to her. Regardless of the numbers or hungry fan-base, like Exene, she works hard and remains committed, refusing to compromise her art.

This resonates with me not only as an artist, a writer and a filmmaker, but I rely on my voice to make a living in marketing and publicity. The lines can get blurred and I must maintain a direct connection to my gut lest I fall prey to the irresistible glory of fame- success's ugly and infernal twin. Recently I dodged a bullet and my strategy of implanting in the belly of the film business beast was derailed- I was doing it for all the right reasons, but in the end my GUT and circumstance acted as an invisible electrified fence- scorching me before I could call Hollywood home. As a result I am regaining my ground, have FINALLY found love and feel like I am getting my sea legs with the writing. Right now I am working my ass off to "try not to resist to're still becoming." (thanks Jan! You rock!)

To wrap it all up in a tidy package- I can't run if I'm trying to wear somebody else's shoes and you can't hear my stories if I'm speaking to some elusive spotlight. Like Exene's enthusiasm for touring from record store to record store and playing during the day where people bring their kids because they understand her value as an artist and a voice; where girls are excited because they can actually go to a show-- and HEAR her words. That's what moves people
to move the world in a different and better direction- and that's why I do what I do- all of it- the work and the art- to make sure the media and the message make it intact.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Writer DNA: Fran Lebowitz

"I've never met anyone who even comes close to me in laziness. I would have made a perfect heiress. I enjoy lounging. And reading. The other problem I have is fear of writing. The act of writing puts you in confrontation with yourself, which is why I think writers assiduously avoid writing. The number of alcoholic writers makes a lot of sense because if you're going to be face to face with yourself, maybe it's better that you don't recognize that person."

I couldn't turn the Charlie Rose interview with Fran Lebowitz off. Exhaustion from a fantabulous holiday wiped my memory of whether or not I have even read her work, or if I just know that I'm supposed to listen to what she says. No wonder I watch and absorb her words-- she goes on about the need to be around people and in the world and engaging in the conversation that is democracy, cultural, political, personal and on...but when you're lazy and afraid- smoking and parties are the rooms other that the one accommodating all of the stuff you don't want to deal with-- she also calls hers the writing room. 

she also mentioned being afraid. a fear so intense that it remains invisible and anonymous- the unmentionable that you carry like a layer deep or two rash. all just an itch that's coming up from inside you-- hives perhaps. 

these interviews always leave me with the same feeling i get from watching a suspenseful TV show or movie- the most obvious information that might make a difference is always omitted, skipped, or avoided. or am I the dunce missing did she manage to survive through a writing blockade of Viet Nam war proportions? 

tell me if you know and I'm missing something. I always wonder if there is a Bank of Social Icon- not celebrity- that gets tarnished and spoils but iconography- certainly there is a credit union? I get it but want to know, where do the checks come from?

  a Scorcese docu: PUBLICLY SPEAKING. hm.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

40 Crazy Ass Things-

At the 40 day count down to 40 years old, once suggestion was "do 40 crazy ass things".  Immediately I thought that my 40 crazy ass things at 40 years old would likely surprise some, though not those who know me...

I will start here...
#1- I am so EXCITED and have been looking forward to turning 40 years old for a while. I am a real believer in trying things on- giving the experience a go- my 20's and 30's were chock full of learning. Lots of lessons I have no interest in revisiting let alone repeating. I am always puzzled when people dismiss the turn of a decade and favor looking back and even returning to some folly filled youth- yes the FUN is all caps in my mind, but dang I just don't want to do all that again. Like Yates said- "Youth is wasted on the young." I want to get my WISE on! and I think that 40 is exactly the sweet spot- old enough to know and young enough to approach and execute with skill.

#2- I've spent so much of my life holding the 'high' as a standard, and too often settling for some incomparable low as a challenge to be overcome- I'm grooming an awareness and appreciation for the view from the ground. Digging on the sensation of life locomotion from a well situated center of gravity, albeit the '60's styling and handling of a '67 427 Ford Shelby Cobra, but even a machine of that magnitude (or even a Sunbeam Tiger...) has a specific relationship with the ground and can only move as fast as its flow.
#3- Starting where I am. I am generally some combination of distracted (see previous blog post) and excited, enthusiastic and effusive- like the new 7UP ads "ridiculously bubbly"- - effervescence with a bite. I'm embracing the sprint- using it to my advantage as much as possible. Keeping to what's in front of me, anchoring on it and building from those moments in rather than bemoaning the spin off my rocker- #2 is helping a lot.

#4 I'm not just listening, I am hearing- without the excitable violins playing and the missing my cues because of the weight of the chip on my shoulder or the shadow cast by an rotten egg past. Hearing me, hearing you and soaking it up and

#5 giving it a space to pass through and wringing it out and writing about it- more than running my mouth and spewing the stories my heart is all pitter pat to write. because I also freaked out that maybe i have a finite amount of words and the last place they will shine is on Facebook, Twitter or me running my mouth.

that's all for now, more later- attention span got the best of me... maybe i'll crack a 40 and laugh...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

curiouser and curiouser

Creative curiosity conundrum of Kriz number 947,252,3845,957.

Unmatched curiosity and like a 7 Up! ridiculously bubbly thinking excitement about being creative and digging into all the myriad minutiae (oh wow I spelled that right the first time!) and making things happen. Building stuff out of ideas and images and sounds and conversations and bringing people and concepts and art and moments together and OH! LOOK! It's a monkey on a goat!

So this is a pretty rad way to be. BUT where the good golly am I going to find/make/create/allot/organize/sort/determine/unleash/discover/schedule/organize/focus the time to experience/enjoy/execute without diluting or tempting the fate as a dilettante. 

the writing of this blog entry also behind the scenes included 2 anecdotes, three texts, 1 voice mail, two nutrition negligible snacks and tucking a magic 5 year old back into bed.

Easily distracted with far too little interest in the mundane maintenance required to run shit.