Attempting to get back into a groove. Enjoy some links I found particularly interesting this week.
A CONVERSATION ABOUT WRITING WITH PETER TURCHI (Austin Kleon)
I try to remind my graduate students — because the undergraduates usually still remember it — that they started writing because it was fun. And then some days, you see them looking like they’ve been beaten and sent to class, you know, they have to produce another 15 pages or whatever it is, and it’s so miserable. And I say, “You know, you’re not going to keep this up if this is the way it feels. So try to reach back to find whatever love or passion or excitement got you into this.” Because I think it’s hard to continue without it. That doesn’t mean that the subject is necessarily passionate or fun on the surface, but even the pleasure of writing a good sentence, even the pleasure of composing an effective paragraph or image… that’s the kind of reward that we write for.
THERE'S A HUGE THEATRE IN FRANCE'S MASSIVE REFUGEE CAMP (BuzzFeed)
Once the dome was back up, the ground leveled, the lights hung back up and the guitars back in their stands, Joe Robertson gave a speech to the refugees, Syrian, Afghani, Sudanese, and others, who had helped to rebuild the theatre. “This is your masrah,” he said. “This is your theatre. And we’re going to be here all winter for you. This is a safe space, a warm space. And we’re going to fill it with music, with theatre, with poetry and dance.”
MIKE BARTLETT TURNS TO SHAKESPEARE TO VOICE HIS 'KING CHARLES III' (New York Times)
Iambic pentameter was the obvious form for something so unlikely and dramatic, Mr. Bartlett said, because it allows for “a heightened version of how we speak, with a sense of formality and a fluidity.” It also enables the characters to use graceful rhythm and metaphor-rich language to explore, in conversation and in soliloquy, profound questions of identity, destiny and conscience without sounding pretentious or grandiloquent.
"It made me realize that this isn’t a poetry of romantic poets sat at a desk trying to work out what the next word is, or about the beauty of the verse,” he said. “This is verse in the service of the drama, serving the second-by-second psychology of the character.”
WHY IS SO MUCH OF DESIGN SCHOOL A WASTE OF TIME? (Dear Design Student)
So here’s the secret that I didn’t put into practice until after I graduated: you’re a gold miner, not a customer, and if you don’t get good at mining for gold, you will never be a good designer. Especially once you make it past the first year or two of working, you spend less time wrestling with making things and more time listening to people in person, on the phone, in slack, in texts, in email, pretty much everywhere where they can find you. They are redundant, inarticulate, inefficient, vague, and inconsistent, and they are constantly going on and on about something. And god bless them. They don’t owe you clarity. If ten percent of what they say is useful, that’s a win. Your job as a student is to practice figuring out which ten percent is useful, how to mine it, and how to use it. This is what school is for. If you want to learn how to use digital tools, talk to the internet.
(October 18 – 24)
Montgomery County Community College: An impressive campus outside the Philadelphia area. They folks at MCCC were wonderful hosts for our performance of HENRY V.
Hyatt: everyone had their own room! We had kitchens. Josh (along with his wife Sarah who was visiting) hosted a “home”-cooked spaghetti dinner. Delicious.
King of Prussia Mall: the largest mall in the country. It had 400+ stores. I had to check it out. It was totally overwhelming.
University at Albany: this is a familiar stop (went there last year). The campus looks like Tomorrowland.
FestivALL in Charleston, WV: this is a city-wide arts celebration. I suppose our performance of CAESAR was a kind of headliner, maybe? I don't know, but Charleston has some great things going on. I am particularly smitten by the independent Taylor Books, where I picked up two more Jonathan Lethem books (The Ecstasy of Influence and Motherless Brooklyn). Black Sheep Burrito is a fantastic place to eat. If I ever go back, I will have to try some of their beer.
Also, the drive through the mountains in West Virginia was stunning.
News, updates, quotes, and other miscellany.
Books Read 2018
Books Read 2017
Books Read 2016
Books Read 2015
Movies Watched 2018
Movies Watched 2017
Movies Watched 2016
Movies Watched 2015