“Do not hurry; do not rest.” — Goethe
The Big Chill Revisited
Last night I was driving home very late from a fabulous Moth Mainstage at the Somerville Theater near Boston. There are few things better than a good story well told and the evening was full of them. Driving home, I played the radio very loud to keep myself awake, singing badly along. Then a classic blared: The Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” I immediately thought of the funeral scene from The Big Chill.
Making Something Your Own
Different artists can interpret the same piece of work in vastly different ways. Say for instance Bette Midler’s fabulous torch song version of “Do You Want to Dance” (featured in my show How to Draw a Nekkid Man, formerly I Will Be Good) versus the Beach Boys original upbeat dance version. Or The Beatles version of “Till There Was You” versus the Broadway version sung by Barbara Cook and the film version sung by Shirley Jones (before The Partridge Family) written by Meredith Willson for The Music Man (which, by the way, he wrote at 55).
Making Space for the Muse
A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at my computer, writing fitfully. I felt extremely uncomfortable, even claustrophobic. I looked around and realized that although my studio is 1,300 square feet, I was working in an area about 2 feet by 4 feet. Why? Because every other inch of space was filled with — how can I say this delicately? — every inch was filled with crap.
A Courageous State of Mind
A current freshman at my alma mater, Vanderbilt University, recently attended a campus talk by Billy Joel. Turns out, the freshman, Michael Pollack, like his idol Billy Joel, is also a pianist from Long Island. During the Q&A, the freshman asked Joel if he could accompany him in his favorite Billy Joel song, “A New York State of Mind.” Billy Joel said okay. The rest is magical.