Anyway, let's recall just a few lessons from 2006, the ones that I can recall through the crack haze:
- Prose matters. I used to dislike the New Yorker, but the more I find articles that I use from it in my show, the more I appreciate it. The writing is so good. Clear, crisp, expressive, so unlike mine. It almost makes me want to go get a literature degree and work at Starbucks. Of course that urge is always battling with my desire to change my sex and become a PE teacher, just for the awkwardness. Contrast the New Yorker to wikipedia. I've had times where it was nearly impossible to interpret text from that, because some of it is so badly written. Almost as bad as amNew York.
- Just say what you mean. No, not in the grow-up-and-not-be-neurotic way, but in the when you have to say something way. I think I learned this when an old friend died and I wrote this long entry about him. I didn't hold back, because I figured the occasion allowed immoderation. I just said what I felt, and people were telling me it's beautiful. Beautiful? I just wanted to say something honest. And then this year I had to write a private message, in a similar context, and it was a huge challenge not to throw in cliches and dress up the language. But I just tried to say what I felt was necessary (the timing of it made it really important to say the right thing). So I did. And even though a couple of times I felt like it read like a prepared statement from some publicist, I was on the whole pleased with it. So when my roommate asked me what he should write in his xmas cards, I said, "Just write what you feel." Hmm, from life-and-death to xmas cards---it doesn't seem to translate well. But I think it works anyway.
- It's hard to do a good live show! I have a whole new appreciation for Oprah. And for my friend Jason, who can both do really well live, because I haven't gotten it figured out yet. I also feel like I'm right there with my opera singer friend, who said that when she hit a wrong note in a performance she felt like crap for days, because I sometimes feel the same after a bad show. Luckily I don't feel bad about hitting wrong notes, because then I would never feel good. Case in point: Quorn, from my Thanksgiving show. After running the pitch correction software (which just puts things in the right key, not necessarily on the right notes), I kind of liked it. But the chorus always sounded odd. Then I realized it was too low--I think I was doing the harmony. I guess my only resolution for this year is to not worry about my singing. Because someone told me the other day, "So many people tell you you can sing, so why don't you believe it?" Well, that was kind. But I know that I am not a good singer, and I'm OK with it. Allz I want is to be able to sing Torn on the subway within 50 cents of the right notes. Of course, my dream is to sing Take On Me on the subway in that Britney Spears suit with the snake, and strip until disappearing in a cloud of pink smoke. Not really. My real dream is to not have to ride the subway anymore. And Miss Cleo told me that one day I wouldn't have to, and I believe in her.
And then yesterday it was back to January. Sigh. So hats off to 2007, beeyotches! Eat your fiber, and stay away from that McDonalds across the street.