The Dogs in My Head Are Still Barking

It’s always easier to be direct when talking to someone indirectly. How often have you rehearsed something really confrontational and blunt, only to be polite or even friendly when you finally see the person? We all wish we could say exactly what’s on our minds all the time, but if we did that, we wouldn’t have any friends. At the same time, who wants to carry a grudge around? Even if we were right to feel angry about some perceived slight, we might have to wait so long for an opportunity to bring it up again that by the time it comes, we sound petty, like we’ve been obsessing over something minor for months or even years. As I always say, seemingly mundane incidents that stick in your figurative craw are almost always representative of some larger problem. But teasing that problem out can take a while.

I often find that in order to move on from something, I must first indulge in it. I experienced it in late 2011 when I was lured back into acting for one final go-round. The role I landed was a Shakespearean fool, which was quite a leap for a guy like me. Shakespeare often used his fools to make a sort of meta-commentary on the whole story, adding perspective to the plot by pointing out how ridiculous the whole thing was. Touchstone was no exception–loud, extroverted, amoral and pleasure-seeking, he was the exact opposite of me in just about every way, which is exactly why it was so much fun to play him. I’d never had a role quite like that before, having auditioned for the Shakespearean fool several times before, but this one seemed like a pretty good fit. Part of my arc involved seducing a simple country girl just so that I could abandon her once I’d slept with her a couple times, but the actress playing the role was such a committed professional that in rehearsals, it looked like she was seducing me. It took me a while to grow into the part. I had fun, though, which is why I kind of had to move on.

When I first set my sights on becoming a movie buff, I focused mainly on established classics. The films I saw were, in the beginning, the sorts that most first-year film students would be expected to know. Now, I’m specializing a little bit more, dabbling in kung fu and, if I get around to it, possibly even blaxploitation. It’s been my experience that the more fun I have, the slower time moves. It’s exactly the opposite of the conventional wisdom. My masters program lasts only twelve months–I arrived last May, and am set to graduate this May. The others in my class comment on how quickly time has moved, and how these past six or seven months have just flown by. I wish they’d stop. In some ways, I agree with them, but for me, that thought is more depressing than anything. Carry that sentiment to its logical extreme, and by the time I’m old, I’ll feel like 70 or 80 years just flew by. That’s incredibly frightening. I would much rather feel that the years went by at just the right pace.

I’ve been told by some of my friends that I should consider trying my hand at standup comedy. I respect their opinions, but have decided not to. I am, as anyone who has ever engaged me in a lengthy conversation will hopefully tell you, a gifted conversationalist. Some people suggested I become a vlogger rather than just a regular blogger, but I decided against it, partially so that I could maintain a certain level of anonymity, and partially so that I would not have to deal with the exhausting, thoroughly draining experience that is performing for an audience. If I did it, the dogs in my head would only bark louder. Pity. I might have made a decent comedian.

I’m currently fine-tuning my resume and working on a cover letter so that I can finally begin my job hunt. I met with my adviser to discuss this back in September, but was distracted by other things. I suppose now is as good a time as any to finally get around to doing what I’d meant to do all those months ago. According to the woman who officiated our career seminar, it takes six to nine months to find a job. I have a little over four. I guess I should really get cracking. I have only one goal with regards to my career search. The only job I ever had was the canvassing job, which was challenging and stressful, but rewarding in a way that no other job I’ve ever had was. I remember being completely honest in my interview, which is something that I almost never do. So I’ll try being honest in my resume in cover letter. It might not work, but then again, few things that I try ever do. So there’s that.

I’ll leave you with this video, which is genuinely moving, and the sort of thing that I might have done when I was a teenager were I infinitely bolder and more talented. So as always, stay strong, try to enjoy yourselves, and most importantly, avoid dying, if possible.

Bye now.


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