... would rock. Sorry, guys, it hasn't happened yet. But what if?
You may wonder where I got that idea.
I got it here: http://www.box.net/shared/ot39xe7go4
The moment I heard Ira's awkward singing, I knew he needed
to be in a musical. I've officially added it to the list of things I want to see before I die.
What kind of musical would it be? It would have to be a dramatic story of personal struggle, where, at the climax of the tale, the protagonist recites a timeless monologue about what he learned or realized, not un-TAL-like.
And it would be about Ira's hard start in radio as a tapecutter for All Things Considered, and his struggle for...
No. That would be corny.
Perhaps it would simply be a musical episode of TAL, where all the contributors and guests sing everything.
Wait, that's more corny.
I've got it! It will be a random musical, I don't particularly care what about. But it will have Ira Glass in a fairly large singing role. Sarah Vowell will also be in it. And TMBG, and... Stephen Colbert. Now that
would be a beard drencher.
Time to go off on a tangent about life and crap! Here is where you stop reading if you don't actually care about my personal life, problems, and crazed nonsensical thoughts.
I don't even know where to start, so I'll pick the beginning...
As of last week, I'm completely addicted to This American Life
, so I've been listening to a lot of that and NPR in general lately; it's my new "phase". That doesn't necessarily mean any old 'phases' are over, it just means that I've listened to half the music I usually do because I'm listening to radio journalism. Weird, I know.
Like I said, over soon, maybe.
One thing that probably won't be over anytime soon is my admiration of Mr. Ira Glass. When I first saw him in Gigantic, he was an ugly man with a funny voice. Now, he's one of my favourite people.
When I became addicted to TAL, I naturally wrung the internet of all things Ira, including a buttload of interviews.
Reading these, combined with TAL-listening, I became more and more aware of both how intelligent and observant he is, and of how much some of him reminds me of...
Let me explain: I've always wanted to be a musician (similarities between Ira and I don't start yet :D). The problem is/was, I didn't know how. So I thought i'd try taking some pages from the books of my favourite musicians. That means John Linnell.
The problem is, I'm nothing like John, and can never be (it's not a bad thing; I wouldn't want to marry a male version of myself). John writes music quickly and effortlessly. Beautiful melodies flow naturally from his imagination. Unreliable narrators almost form themselves. He can write the ideal 'perfect song' 'between lunch and dinner''. And does so frequently. I can't.
I hate the word 'can't', but I've tried enough to make me sick to replicate his songwritting style in hopes I can come up with somethign I actually like. Not only is this style stressful on me, but unlike John, I'm never satisfied with my product (John, I'm guessing, doesn't often doubt his work, seeing as he has said he doesn't think about what his songs mean and has before made up lyrics simply because they fit the melody. If he doubted his quality he'd probably be more self-conscious of what he's doing).
Because I don't like what I have, I resort to assuming I'm lazy, I'm weak, I need to try harder, or I just plain suck (which can be remedied by hard practice).
That's how I rolled until yesterday, when I read a certain Ira Glass quote:
"...You can criticize yourself to a point to do something better, or you criticize yourself to a point where you inhibit yourself....".
OH. MY. GOD.
It immediately made so much sense to me. In reality, there are probably many others who have realized this and could've told me that. I probably have
heard it before, in fact, But never like that. The way he said it resonated with me personally and I finally realized wallowing in self-loathing, insulting myself, and wondering why I suck so much isn't the answer, but rather what is pushing me from the .answer'.
Everytime I think about what I want to do for the rest of my life, the reason I don't want to embark on a bold artistic career is that I've coerced myself into believing that I suck, and will end up living in a box. I can't feel confident as a musician.
Ira's words make me wonder if he hadn't gone through the same thing; pushing himself to better himself so much that he actually drove himself deeper in to the metaphorical 'ground'. He claims he spent a long while pre-TAl as a tapecutter for All Things Considered because he was a good tape cutter, bad reporter.
Maybe he used to have a lot of self-lothing. In fact, maybe he still does. Maybe it's not entirely bad.
I read: "Despite his professional success [Ira] remains amiably self-deprecating and admits to frequent bouts of diffidence".
Diffidence? A thing I associate myself closely with, on a man who always seems to like the person he is and value highly his own opinion?
Ira always seemed to be a little pretentious.
The thing is, if there's one thing I like to be, it's pretentious. I laugh inwardly at conservatives, jocks, or people who read Twilight books and listen to Radiohead, loving every second of knowing, or believing, that I have elite tastes. I wouldn't change the way I am for ANYTHING.
And yet, I am shy, bashful, and all together unconfident in my abilities and self-worth. Sometime I even ask myself, "why do I suck at everything?"
You know, diffidence.
I don't know how one can be pretentious and yet diffident, but apparently Ira and I both can, and it helps me feel better.
If Ira had similar problems to mine, if he is or was a similar person, I can now believe that I can succeed regardless of how indecisive or diffident I can be.
If I can believe that he could be a tapecutter, unsuccessful for years while slowly coming up with the idea for the best radio program that ever existed, finally to be put in motion at the age of 27...
I can believe that even if I'm unsuccessful for years, the 'answer' is to work on my music at my own pace, setting reasonable standards, until I finally come up with something I can be proud of. Hopefully at an age younger than 27, but we'll see.
Ira, while not musical, is the kind of person I need as a rolemodel. I feel such a load off my back no longer thinking that I have to have an album done before I leave highschool that I can consider of comparable standard to what I listen to.
He is someone I feel deeply connected to; related to in a way.
Next time I see him in Gigantic, it'll be impossible to think of him just as the guy with the weird voice. Thank you, Ira.
Oh god, did I ever rant. 6:00 already?
To anyone who read this all: thanks, and I swear, it sounded better in my head. :D
-Ana M. Weaver