I’m fairly Type A, in terms of personality: methodical, ambitious.  I fastidiously measure out ingredients from recipes when I cook.  I make endless lists and then slowly cross items off (or add them to new lists).  I like my email inbox to be as close to empty as possible.  I need the sink not to have dirty dishes in it.  I know this about myself, and have learned to accept it.

I’m not sure, however, when I started using yellow legal pads.  I’ve used them off and on for a while now, but certainly not to the extent I’ve found myself doing for this project.  Last fall I started writing lyrics and chord progressions, fragments and ideas, eventually drafts of songs onto yellow legal pads.  They seemed orderly, structured, practical; they made me feel businesslike and organized.  While in Staples several months ago, the economy pack of legal pads was on sale.  Things appparently spiraled out of control from there.  When I met Mike recently, he mentioned that maybe working in four legal pads concurrently was a bit much.

(Left, notes for Stacey’s portrait; Right, the final draft of “It’s Okay to Break”)

Mike is probably the person who has to deal with my Type A tendencies the most right now, and simply smiles at me now when I say that we need to make lists.  To a certain extent we’re getting to a point in the project where I have less to do, or at least less things that I can cross off my lists.  As we accumulate more and more interview and projection footage, much of the project is now in his hands, as I have only an amateur understanding of the film editing software we’re using, Final Cut.

That’s not to say I’m not still using my yellow legal pads.  I’m still meeting with designers, taking notes from the Studio Tisch producers, making lists of shot ideas for the projections.  I even wrote a draft of this blog post on a yellow legal pad while taking the A train downtown yesterday.  But I’m learning to let go of control a little and let this project evolve and breathe.  Its a workshop, a draft, a beginning.  In about five weeks I’ll perform it in the Shubert Theater at NYU, most likely looking at a yellow legal pad on the piano in front of me with lyrics and chords.

(train to Ronkonkama with legal pads and iPhone; photo © 2010 Michael Heck)

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