Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Existential Crisis in the Recording Booth

Yesterday, I recorded a short piece I wrote at our local tv station. Having not been in a recording booth since college (where I had a brief and unsuccessful stint as a DJ), it was more nostalgic than anxiety provoking....until I had to record the promo. It sounded simple enough when she asked me to say: "I'm Cygnus Jones, a 'insert one word description of who I am here,' from Magnolia Meadows. " OH GOD! Who am I? I stared at the reporter like she had suddenly sprouted horns and was asking me to tap dance naked through the lobby. I sat there blinking furiously as I thought. "Wife?" No, boring. "Administrative Genius?" No, boring and stupid. "Middle Aged Mommy in the midst of a full blown meaning-of-life crisis?" True, but perhaps juuuuuuuust a bit TOO revealing. The mental Rolodex was in free fall. Perhaps, sensing my panic, (or maybe just in the interest of spurring things on a bit) she said "Why don't you just say you're a writer?"

Well, that would just be silly, wouldn't it? I'm not a writer. I mean just because I write things, and occasionally someone stumbles upon one of my musings and finds it entertaining doesn't mean I'm a writer. In fact, since I can't find a single word that describes me, maybe I'm not really anything at all, really. (You'll get used to this logic if you stick around for a while.) Because I could not come up with anything else, though, and because she was really very nice and I didn't want to cry in front of her and ruin the whole thing, I tried it on for size. She smiled which I took as a positive sign, and we recorded the rest of the piece without incident.

As I drove home afterwards I realized the full implication of what I'd just done. "I am a writer." What was I thinking? Now it was out there. I couldn't take it back. I reached very very far from the edge of my little meadow and stuck a flag on a piece of foreign soil. It amounted to a raid, of sorts, under cover of dense fog where I raced in from the forest of my neighboring land and stole a sheep from the wealthy kingdom while no one was looking. We'll see what happens when it airs and someone realizes they're missing a sheep. (I don't think I'll eat it yet, just in case I'm discovered.) But, maybe, just maybe, I can keep this sheep, steal another and start my own flock, and begin to foray, legitimately, into the magic kingdom.

In the meantime, allow me to introduce myself, I'm Cygnus Jones, a writer, from Magnolia Meadow.

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