Listening to everyone talk about how this program changed their lives is great. I’m happy that people have ‘found themselves’ out here–though if I hear that phrase in context again, I’ll probably go insane. What does that phrase even mean, anyway? It feels like an empty statement, a meaningless gesture. All I know is that I’m leaving LA with more questions than answers, leaving me in somewhat of a strenuous predicament. I still don’t know how I can effectively marry my talents. I still haven’t played a show in over a year (I came to LA hoping to play open mic nights every weekend, and this never once happened). I still am incapable of presenting myself as a confident human being. The good news is I leave LA having written my third full length album, currently untitled.
I am in love with my Gibson Les Paul Double Cut now more than ever. She is my vessel for song, and she is my muse. What a strange relationship! I look forward to gifting her to my kids; I think she’s worthy of being passed down. She’s the most expensive thing I’ve ever paid for. At times, she’s like a best friend and a worst enemy. Jack White always says that playing guitar should be an uphill battle, a conflict between the musician and the instrument. The struggle should be apparent in the performance. It’s not about playing the most intricately designed or most expensive guitar. It’s the way you play it. Jack plays a plastic (LITERALLY) guitar that he found at a pawn shop for something like $50. I’ve watched him make a guitar out of the crudest, most base components, and absolutely rock the shit out of it (check out the opening to the White Stripes documentary). If I’ve learned anything this summer, it’s how to channel my personal conflicts into a performance.
I look forward to recording the album at Elon. I imagine that I won’t be seen or heard from outside of class for some time. I have plans to finally push my music, and actually take a chance at breaking into the industry. I need to play shows. Tons and tons of shows. Live performance is what drives me to write music. It inspires me and enraptures my imagination.
But where am I going? NYC or LA? I’m still unsure. One of my most talented friends, Julian, is heading for New York after graduation. We talked about sharing a flat and recording/producing albums. But I still feel the pull of cinema, the draw to Los Angeles. I haven’t yet made a film that I am totally and completely proud to call my own, and I don’t know where my place would be in the industry. But that encourages me to work harder and produce something better than I ever have back at Elon.
I feel more confident in my songwriting, bottom line. But I can’t help but feel that in some regards
I belong here.