I was a writer before I was a photographer. This year I’ve neglected my photography but have been writing more than ever before. If neglected this blog last month, it is in part due to the fact that I have been busy writing for three other venues:
The one I get paid for, as part of other duties which I’ve always had a hard time explaining to people. Trust me, I work hard for your tax dollars, and last month wrote about various composers’ birthdays and seeing Sir Paul McCartney on tv.
And DCist.com, where my arts reviews began appearing last week. Yesterday my review of the Poussette-Dart and Robert Ryman shows at The Phillips Collection was published.
With this flurry of activity, I wish I could work on my own stuff. It’s not a matter of time, really – a friend once told me that if you wanted something to get done, ask a busy person. It didn’t make sense to me until I became a busy person myself. But I’m struggling with my own projects, and the struggle begins with what my own project would be. How will I marry writing with photography? As I work on, or avoid working on, applications for photography competitions, I face a blank page.
The answer must be right in front of me. I’ll let you know when I find it.
As an aside – or is the answer somewhere within? – last month I had the opportunity through to meet a number of musical heroes: Elvis Costello, Jack White, Herbie Hancock, the Jonas Brothers (well, somebody’s heroes). I even got a glimpse of Paul McCartney being whisked away to an official dinner. I took photos of my friends with some of these luminaries, but absent Taylor Swift there was nobody I was excited enough about to want to have my picture taken with them.
But the week after the all-star soiree, I met somebody I did want my picture taken with:
Tommy Wiseau is the auteur behind the cult phenomenon The Room, and I don’t use the word auteur ironically. For all the press calling this “The worst movie ever made,” for the awkward dialogue and acting, the writer/director/star has some kind of amazing vision. Not everybody hears that whistle – unlike many bad movies, what makes this enjoyable has nothing to do with camp or a wink-wink knowingness. The charm of Tommy is that he doesn’t know. As much as the audiences that pack houses to see him at midnight screenings aroudn the country show up to laugh at him, he stands by his vision. It may not be a coherent, comprehendable vision, but it’s clearly a vision – Citizen Kane homage aside, what other movie is like this?