There's a new section over there on the side, just under the Previous Entries column. If you should so desire to see how I spend the majority of my time, please go check out those links. (Some of you have seen some of these before.) The one titled "Arangetram" puts the previous entry in greater context.
That aside, a big part of my job is establishing a rapport that gives me intimate, emotional access and FAST. One of the main ways I do it involves sharing a lot about myself, drawing from my own experiences to intimately capture those of otherwise total strangers.
It's sort of like...okay. Long, rambly digression that will all come around to make my point eventually. Stay with me..... I vacillate between thinking that that psychic guy John Edwards is a total quack and the real deal. If you've ever watched his show, when he's giving someone a "cold reading" with messages "from their loved ones on the other side"- he sounds like he's playing charades.
He'll say something along the lines of, "They're showing me yellow roses, which means they want me to acknowledge a birthday." Or he'll say something like, "They're making me feel the same way I felt in my grandmother's attic; what is this? Did you used to play dress-up in an attic?" or "I'm hearing come kind of T name, a TM combination, Tom? Tim? Tommy?" And the people fall over themselves, bursting into tears and giving him lots of verbal and nonverbal clues he can drawn from. Sometimes he says that the energies from the "other side" are giving him clues to the way they passed away by laying the symptoms over his own body; i.e. he feels an abstract sense of a terrible headache; therefore the person he's supposedly communicating with had a brain hemorrhage.
I've read other people's accounts of what happened when they attended a taping. Some think that the production company has staffers who eavesdrop as the audience waits to be seated, then feed the star info about who wants to hear from whom, who brought a snapshot of dear old dad in their purse, etc. Which is probably a lot more likely that actually communicating with the dead. Having never met the man and only seen the edited footage, it's impossible for me to say. Personally, I do think John Edwards MIGHT have some kind of psychic sensibilities and gifts. On the other hand, can such gifts be forced to manifest according to a production company's schedule and box office demand? Probably not. Does he mix authentic readings with hints from eavesdropping staffers to make for better television? Probably.
What does ANY of this have to do with the new Portfolio section on the side? Just that when I'm connecting with subjects to get access, I do something similar. When he says, "they're showing me my own experience to get me to say 'stuffy, dusty attic,'" I'm doing the same thing on the job. Which means, since most of the readers here on the blog are people I've known for a long time, I talk about you guys all the time as I connect with subjects.
So if you look at the work on the side, and you see the teenagers listening to "Seasons of Love;" and if you remember driving around in the summer of 1997 belting out the lyrics, if you remember being 17 and not quite out of the closet, if you wrote a PG 13 arrangement for Senior Music Awards night, if we went to see Rent together, then yes, I was thinking of you when I shot those pictures.
If we played Beethoven together in a high school symphony orchestra, I was thinking of you when I shot those pictures. If you sat next to me in Spanish, if we joked about throwing ourselves a quinceanera in 1995, I was thinking of you when I shot those pictures.
If you ever stood next to me and listened to Taps played by a single trumpet on a windy day, then yes, I was thinking of you.