Welcome!

Hello, I’m a working class creative. I’m a playwright, I podcast about pop culture with my wife, and want to advocate for your creativity.

Currently, I’m finding strategies to make more time for creativity in my life. Hope they help you too! I’m also sharing photo/video prompts on Instagram to jump-start your creativity!

If you’re a creative with a day job and want to be featured on the Creative Drive Podcast, please let me know! This link is to my contact page!

My previous work: This link is to my back catalog of work as an award-winning playwright, songwriter, and videographer.

I believe in you. I believe in your work. No matter where you are, no matter what your station in life is, you deserve to bring your creativity into this world. We need it more than ever.

Make art. Make haste.

j

Affirmations 4.7.20

  • These long, chaotic days bring humility and gratitude. Not everyone gets a cosmopolitan quarantine with casual conference calls and mimosas at lunchtime. A good portion of the country is struggling to survive at this very moment, and it makes me feel humble and grateful for what I have.
  • Missing pieces are found. I haven’t been able to find much comfort in my normal routines and efforts. I was listening to some music last night on Youtube and found some great tunes in Spanish I hadn’t heard in a long time. In particular, I was listening to some bolero playlists and it led me to the Natalia Lafourcade Tiny Desk Concert. Suddenly I felt as if the heaviness left me for a moment. I got teary eyed just letting the music take over me and I remembered what it was like to be in Mexico as a kid, surrounded and kept busy by my cousins and family gatherings and playing games with the neighborhood kids out in the street. I miss my family so much. It’s hard to explain the gap one feels in their heart as a first generation American. You look to the distance every now and then, and you see the roots still sticking out of the ground on the lot down the street. And now you’re sitting in a new place, tending to your phantom roots, trying to remember what they felt like. My roots gave me strength to stand tall in hard times. I can’t let my memories go. It is beautiful history of family that belongs to me, no matter how far they are. These pieces aren’t missing. They just fall off the shelf of your heart and you have to pluck them from the floor and put them back where they belong.
  • When in doubt, build a fort. The last two weeks have been challenging at work. I’m very proud to be part of a team of essential employees that just want to help. It is taxing on the mind and body and soul. I want to help people, but there’s only so much I can do. I have lost sleep and had way too much comfort food + drink. Then just the other day, my son asked if we could build a fort. And so we did. It was an eraser to scribbles of fear and extreme anxiety. I’m doing a lot better now. I have my son to thank.

Stay safe, friends.

j

Thinking of Chaos, and the way nature wants to balance the scales in a way that makes me fear its brutality.

#horror #writingsprint #writingexercise

There once was a girl named Quarantina. And her legs gave out at times, because her kid-sized body felt too heavy. And the obvious question she was asked was how she got her name. And one day she humored all the boys and girls in class, who poorly hid the snickers on their faces. And she knew she didn’t fit in this world. She wasn’t made for studying and writing exercises and nap time. She longed for an answer as to why her belly heavied when sadness filled the room. Like the time the blue fishy Mr. Ceviche, perished, and an altar was made to memorialize this, oh so cherished classroom pet. Or when the rain came down so harsh and loud and thunderous, the children screamed and ran inside from a recess cut short, and Quarantina smiled at the sight of it. And so when she answered the question from pudgy, blonde, hog-faced Billy Sanderson, Quarantina grinned as a light bulb pinged to life in her head and she discovered what she was actually made of: “I am a temporary prison. And this form, shall come to pass. And I will once again be made to sail the windtails of this Earth to places your ashes never will. I am carnage in waiting. I am pestilence.”

j

Affirmations 3.25.20

  • Working from home, even for a few days out of the week, is a gift and I am making the most of it. I praise the health care professionals doing what they can in these awful circumstances, the grocery store clerks and countless other essential services in our country.
  • I am fortunate to be inspired by my friends. I’ve joined the amazing Becca Diamond‘s Voice Over Challenge for this weekend. Scared and excited. Think it’s a good sign.
  • My son has called me Papá since he started talking. Now, as a big kid, he has made the executive decision to call me Dad from now on. It’s the end of an era.

Much love,

j

Just a thought.

I didn’t think this would be as severe. I saw it as a scary movie on TV and I wanted to reach for the remote. Life may be different after this. But as we cling to normalcy, behind closed doors, as we cradle our children and bite our lips before the reality before us, I want to share a thought. Just a little one. I want to send a message to you if you’re struggling, if you have lost your job, or are concerned about the health of your loved ones or your own. The unknown is coming, and its speed will wreak havoc on our society and our psyche. I urge you to breathe deeply and look skyward, where there is room for our troubles. I ask you to tightly hold your loved ones, as you would any other day. In this hopeless hour, I send my love, and deepest belief in your resilience, your grit, and the good in your heart. This is our finest hour. Together. Emboldened. Driven by love.

-j

Affirmations 3.17.20 (for your quarantine and mine)

  • Reach out to your loved ones. I’ve been calling my Mom and Dad pretty regularly. They are in Mexico and it causes me great anxiety to think this virus may affect them and I am a thousand miles away, unable to help. I want to listen to them, hear their stories, their advice, and I want their laughter close to me. Hold on to your loved ones and draw strength from them and for them. I hold my son close and we all must relish the act of keeping them busy, keep them learning, and keep them active. It’s a lot to do, but there is good in it. Madd and I recorded the latest Our Kid’s Asleep because we were overdue, and we also needed to voice our opinions on the Corona Virus. It’s healthy to talk about fear. Talk about the good as much as the fear. Laugh as much as you need to.
Love writing long hand.
  • Reach for your art. I am playing the keyboard in the basement even though it’s cold down there. It is a great comfort to play old songs and come up with new ones. I am emboldened by it and it makes me feel alive even though we can’t go out right now. I’m writing lyrics in an effort to distract myself from the daily onslaught of horrible news. I’m collaborating with a musician I met on Reddit and I want to wrap up some story lyrics in the next few days. I’m less afraid knowing there is creative progress with every letter I etch on my notebooks.
  • Reach out to your people. Advocate for those you care about. Pick up the phone, send a text, message your great motivators. Lift them up and let them do the same for you. Be inspired by your friends and creative folk who are beacons of joy, empathy and contemplation in hard times. Support your artists and those who have a positive message to share.
  • Stay informed, but don’t drown in it. As of late, and as an addict of attention, information, and understanding, I refresh Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram in the worst way. Now is not the time to pay your tithe of FOMO to your cellphone. Listen to the news, just don’t overdo it. Your sanity depends on it.

More to come. Much love and stay safe, friends.

j

Affirmations 3.11.20

  • You can always adjust. The whole house came down with a cold and we’ve spent most of our time sleeping. Today I’m finally feeling like myself, but it feels as if I postponed a lot in the last week. I have three podcast episodes of Creative Drive in the can, just never got the chance to upload. Madd and I didn’t podcast this last week, so we’ll try again in the coming days. Still chipping at the second part of my mockumentary script but getting tired of it. It sucks, the time-frame is all off and we’ve technically lost two weeks of consistent content, but it’s not the end of the world. As long as the family gets healthier in the next day or so, we will be back up to speed. Adapting is the name of the game.

  • Sometimes the little things are monumental for the self. Started the idea notebook now that I got my Lochby Field Journal! This thing is gorgeous and I’m super excited I get to invest in myself and my work. My first entry went in today. Starting with five observations, ideas, or “seeds” to be used on a story down the road. Feeling good today.

  • It’s hard to narrow down your purpose. Your mission. The time comes when you eventually have to make a choice. I have a couple of creatives interested in my idea of doing a podcast for working class creatives. I want to go on a mission to extrapolate the strategies and habits of working class creatives to communicate the good that creativity can bring to anyone and everyone, not just the creatives doing it for a living. I’ve tip-toed around this mission for a while now. It’s very important to me, but suddenly it feels as if I’m too afraid to let go of the things that aren’t serving my creative and community purpose. I want to bring awareness to the arts and remove the stigma that the arts are only for an elite few, or the classically trained, or the ones in the big cities. Art belongs to everyone. I may have to let go of some commitments to make this a reality.

  • Also, who doesn’t love to experiment with more podcast gear??? Here’s a post from my wonderful time this weekend helping our good friend Jess setup her next podcasting endeavor. So much fun!

Much love,

j

Script Stuff, Part I

At the beginning of the week, I worked like hell to finish the new outlines of what I have been calling, “The Mountain Mystery.” This thing has many moving parts, but I whittled it down over the last month or so to a small, intimate set of scenes that can be produced on a shoestring or nothing at all. This is part 1 of 2 and I am trying to get part 2 done this weekend.

I can’t wait to do this. It’s been a challenge, and I’ve grown to hate this cluster of characters and ideas. But goddamn, it would be so much fun to produce this! I better get going on the second half so I can bring some creatives together for it!

Plenty of forward motion this week, just have to keep the momentum going.

Much love,

j