I REALLY WANTED TO BE an architect as a kid; I went through more sketch pads than I can count drawing all sorts of buildings. I had books as a 9-10 year old about skyscraper architecture, I was especially fond of John Portman who designed some of the more iconic buildings of the Atlanta skyline; to this day I still giggle at the notion that I was interested in John Portman when the rest of my friends were outside playing stickball. I drew buildings a lot, often mimicking designs from my skyscraper books but mostly I drew stadiums. I drew domed stadiums, open air stadiums, stadiums with elaborate parking decks, somewhere in a sketch pad at about 12 years old I drew a retractable roof football stadium long before there were any retractable roof football stadiums as there are now. I drew college stadiums complete with special seating areas and walkways for the marching bands, I drew pro football stadiums for fictional football teams called the Sharks and the Mudcats with ridiculously large video screens and upwards of 8-9 tiers of seats. I drew stadiums that sat on banks of rivers and stadiums built into the base of mountains. I drew lots and lots of stadiums, I’d like to venture a guess that I would go through 3-4 sketch pads every summer, 80% of each of them was some form of sports venue. I knew that when I got older I was going to design those things for a living, that those stadiums would jump off the page and into some city someplace and real people would file in and out of the gates that I drew and that they would watch touchdowns and enjoy fireworks like that ones I’d depicted in colored pencil and marker. I desperately wanted to design stadiums and buildings when I grew up but something happened along the way. Math happened. Continue reading
Posts Tagged With: Dreams
LAST WEEK I did something I hadn’t done since I was 19, I went to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus. A lot has changed since the last time I went to the circus back in the early 90s but the core of the circus is always the same: Clowns, overpriced snow cones, and a ringmaster in a long sequined coat to sing and dance you through what’s happening. Like my father, I’m a bit of a nature nut so more than anything I was looking forward to seeing the big cats in the center ring, there’s something about lions and tigers that bring out the little kid in me. However when the spotlight hit the cage in the middle of the Philips Arena floor something didn’t quite seem right, there were big cats there sure enough but they looked less like the majestic and regal creatures they are and they looked more like, well, big furry people metaphors. Let me explain…
I don’t speak lion, or tiger for that matter, they don’t sell that package in Rosetta Stone. I can, however, tell you without shadow of a doubt that the four tigers, four lionesses, and one great big male lion had some feelings of disdain for Alexander the circus lion tamer Continue reading
I don’t watch much television. Primarily because my work hours on the new plantation don’t allow for much time in front of my set and secondly because, well, there’s not much that tickles my fancy in the way of television programming; outside of a few shows that I have loaded into my DVR that I like, TV and I don’t have too much quality time. I think the main thing that turned me away from television is the advent of competition shows. Survivor, The Bachelor, Dancing With The Stars, Skating With The Stars, Stars in Desperate Need of Rehab, etc. There’s quite enough competition on the highways getting home here in Atlanta for me to sit down and then watch the same thing on the set. So as I sat down, still in my shirt and tie with still fading thoughts of stolen food in my head, watching NBC’s latest sensation, The Sing Off, I couldn’t help but feel like a bit of a hypocrite.
Since I was around four, I have always loved to sing. I’m no Luther Vandross but I can carry a tune and hold a note thanks to the genes on my mother’s side of the family; luckily Dad’s singing genes didn’t get thrown in the pot when my ingredients were being mixed together. Church choirs, chorus at school, singing impromptu songs with friends in restaurants, I’ve always been enamored with the universal language of music so it’s not altogether weird that I watched this show with more appreciation and, dare I say, emotion than I’m sure 90% of America. What was odd was the amount of envy (I know, one of the seven deadly sins, blah blah blah, save me the sermon) I had for each of the groups that were on the stage, doing what they loved and doing it incredibly well. However my covetousness wasn’t because each of the groups had oodles of talent just spilling out of them, rather it was because each of them were having their moment, that time where all eyes are on them and is forced to gaze in amazement. I want that moment.
When I was 18, I had a borderline moment when I won a playwriting competition. Initially I was scolded harshly in front of my peers by the judges because I arrived 4 minutes late; I certainly thought that my chances were done. But after that they glowed, my characters were good, my premise was good, my story was good, and my execution was good and all that good got me a flight to Houston, Texas to compete nationally against other teenagers from around the nation where my play was ripped to shreds and called everything from “thin” to “cliché”. Amazingly, I wasn’t hurt about it, I got the experience of pitting my work against others, I got to meet people from all over the country, I got to rub elbows with some great writers, and more importantly this wasn’t the end of my road, this was only the first of my moments, I was a writing force to be reckoned with and the world (and the critics therein) hadn’t seen the last of me.
But then college, and girl chasing, and deferred collegiate soccer dreams and the subsequent depression, and graduation, and then career chasing, then unemployment and job hunting and the subsequent depression, and then work, work, work, work, work at something you don’t particularly like until you come home, unconsciously flip on the television to nothing in particular and see hordes of people of all ages taking their place in the sun doing what they absolutely love…and while catching your breath during the commercial break you’re forced to ask yourself, “what was it I was supposed to be doing again?”
Sometimes the strangest of things under the weirdest of consequences can nudge us towards our desires and wants. I’m not a fan of competition TV (ok, one, Hell’s Kitchen is my guilty pleasure, I love that show) but it was a competition show that said to me “hey man, don’t stop chasing that feeling you had when you were 18. You’ve got more moments to go. Don’t get so caught up in life that life catches you with your pants down!” So every morning since accidentally running across that show I’ve jumped out of bed excited because who knows, today might be the day I run into my opportunity. Maybe today I meet that editor or fellow writer, perhaps I meet that guy who knows a publisher, maybe someone reads something I write and they really like it, or maybe I compete in another competition and win something again.
Wake up anticipating something good, look beyond where you are and see where you’re going and if you’re not getting there it’s probably because you’re not moving. Get up and anticipate something good in your life then go make it happen…even if reality TV makes you do it.
~thanks for reading 🙂