Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When I was 21

A lovely post on The Rumpus about what some famous people did when they were 21. While it's a bit hard to measure up to writing "Satisfaction" or "The Sounds of Silence," When I was 21 I did write several songs, part of a never-finished screenplay (though I did write two other complete screenplays before I was 23 -- I use the word advisedly, as they were not properly formatted, a qualification which I knew I would never meet [that was before personal computers and screenwriting software] and that the screenplays would thus never see the light of day), and a number of movie reviews and other pieces for the college paper. The only "grand gesture" I can remember making, however -- grand gestures being the theme of the Rumpus piece -- was to start taking classes at a dance studio. First postmodern dance with Deborah Hay, who had just moved to Austin, then modern dance with Daniel Llanes (whose web page strongly suggests he is still ensconced in the Texas-hippie culture which I purposely left behind in Austin), then contact improvisation. It was the last which motivated my move, just before I turned 23, to San Francisco.

I guess you can't help looking back on the time in your life when you were 20 or 21 or 22 and not see the beginnings of the choices which would influence your whole life. Even so, I almost never write a song or a movie review anymore, and I'm not dancing. But here I am in San Francisco, and I am still writing.


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