Some nights are for new edits, and learning to reach out.

I’ve been working on a dance project in collaboration with Wyoming Dance Arts based on this creative prompt of mine:

I worked with three of the WDA dancers and we created a piece based on the restrictions of the space. We spoke a lot about theme and how they could internalize it so we could produce some site-specific choreography. It was a very fruitful, impromptu shoot and I’m still going on the high of that interaction. It’s the best kind of collaboration because the dancers really owned their performances and committed to the idea behind the video. I appreciate their creative trust tremendously.

Still from the new project: Narrow (Variations)

I had to put this on the back-burner due to the Oyster Ridge Music Festival Deadlines I had to follow, but every chance I got this fall, I worked away at a rough cut for the first video. Oh I forgot to mention, this project will be designed to be edited a handful of ways in order to produce three main pieces and several little snippets for social media. I want to see how much of it sticks and what doesn’t, so by the end of the year, I hope to have most of it wrapped up. So much for free time!

So once I had a reasonable cut, I sent it over to one of our collaborators and she not only shared some outstanding feedback, but reminded me of this very important lesson: Don’t be afraid to reach out.

Still from the new project: Narrow (Variations)

I sat with my rough draft for about a month because I didn’t know what to do with it. The editing brain went stale and I couldn’t see what needed to happen next. Yes, it was a reasonable draft, but upon getting a fresh set of eyes to look at it, I was able to stand back and observe the piece for what it really was. Because of that, I went home and re-edited the first piece all over again. And it is a much better cut now: Leaner, yet patient and specific.

I would have kept the old cut and chiseled away at shit had I not taken it upon myself to ask for help when my creativity needed it the most. Don’t hesitate to reach out and communicate, and I’ll try to do the same.

Much love,

j

Live at Oyster Ridge 2019: Escaping Pavement (Video)

Working on this video was interesting: I recently found that one of my cameras has an audio glitch, delaying the audio in the clips by eight seconds. Normally, syncing is a breeze since I’ve gotten really good at matching waveforms and documenting my recording start times, but it took me a few tries to figure out what was actually happening. I’m doing a reset on the thing and we’ll see if it behaves when I go and do some tests.

If you’re already longing for Oyster Ridge 2020, check out this lovely performance from Escaping Pavement to get you by! This band was slick and soulful and their sound was so inviting! Escaping Pavement have a new album out and you should check it out on their website below. They came to Wyoming this summer to offer some of their trademark southern rock-inclined, neo-country sound. I’m starting an ORMF playlist of all the awesome bands we got to enjoy in Kemmerer, can’t wait for next year!

Please stop by and support these super talented artists by visiting: http://escapingpavement.com/

If you’re in the area, we’d love to see you at Oyster Ridge Music Festival next year: https://www.oysterridgemusicfestival.com/

j

Live at Oyster Ridge: Ghost of Paul Revere (Video)

Working with Oyster Ridge has not only allowed me to capture top notch talent, but also to fulfill my goal of working as a performance arts videographer, and develop that part of my creative brain. This song stuck with me all summer and dare I say, it was one of my festival favorites. When we got back from the festival, it was the first one I wanted to edit because it was such an enthralling moment in their set. So you can be sure Ghost of Paul Revere is now a regular on my Spotify!

Now if you’re in Wyoming or neighboring areas, and are interested in learning more about Wyoming’s largest FREE music festival, please visit www.oysterridgemusicfestival.com. It’s a phenomenal labor of love and it’s a wonder to see it come to life each July! See you next year and bring your friends!

July 24-26, 2020

So enjoy this brand of holler folk from Maine, and please don’t forget to support Ghost of Paul Revere at www.ghostofpaulrevere.com, they are outstanding!

j

Live at Oyster Ridge: Joe Pug (Video)

Man, what an absolute pleasure it has been to work with Oyster Ridge to capture this festival and what it’s about. This year, Joe Pug was one of the highlights, in a free, three day festival of amazing acts. The man completely filled the stage with presence and shared some beautiful songs. He has taken over my Spotify playlists. I hope you enjoy!

This year leading up to 2020, I want to make sure I do my part to get the word out about this incredible event. It truly is Wyoming’s premier musical experience. And it’s free!

For more of Joe’s critically acclaimed performances and songwriting, as well as latest tour dates, please visit joepugmusic.com

Oyster Ridge is Wyoming’s largest FREE music fest!
For more info, please visit www.oysterridgemusicfestival.com

See you next year and bring your friends! July 24-26, 2020

j

At the Henning Mansion! (Video)

This past weekend, Maddie and I had the pleasure of attending the September Soiree at the Henning Mansion to benefit my friends at Wyoming Dance Arts. I knew it would be an awesome time so I brought the camera along!

The Mansion is a gorgeous building on the National Register of Historic places, so it was a delight to get to capture some of the moments of dance and good cheer at the event. Since I had no idea what was coming next and no tripod with me, I just started playing around handheld style. These days I’m looking for what I can do with less. To trim the fat of equipment but never the purpose nor direction. I’m eager to continue on my minimalist videographer pursuit and see where it goes. I also can’t wait to start our planned collaborations with WDA, lots of creativity on the horizon!

Food and drink was awesome (provided by our excellent Casper vendors), but of course, the highlight of the night were the performances, as a handful of duets and short works acted as interludes, a great evening of art. Congratulations to Wyoming Dance Arts on such a great event!

j

The Highlights are here! (Video)

This weekend, I got to share the first of many videos I put together for the Oyster Ridge Music Festival. The last few weeks have been intense with cataloging and syncing the footage of the six cameras I was working with. It was also my first deep dive into DaVinci Resolve, so I’ve been learning as I go and completely feel like I came out on the other side with some DaVinci assurances. It’s unbelievable the program is free to use, it’s a great tool.

So as the coming weeks unfold, I’ll be posting interviews and performances from all of the bands, in an effort to capture the spirit of this phenomenal experience. I have to take a step back and let my heart fill with gratitude: I’m fortunate to work on something that truly speaks to what I love and want to advocate for. I can’t imagine a better cause to contribute to than to a festival that brings joy, community, and the performing arts to our great state. It’s a real privilege to capture the talent on that stage and to work with such kind, wonderful people. To get to work on this festival is truly a dream.

See you next year!

j

Noteworthy 9.10.19

Happy Week Folks!

I had this all typed up on Saturday and forgot to hit PUBLISH. That’s never happened before. Tends to happen when life gets in the way. Loads of noteworthy content came to mind these couple of weeks, thanks to my YouTube wanderings and escapist mind frame.

  1. Working on highlights and other content for the Oyster Ridge Music Festival, so I went to one of my favorite live performance videos from the last few years: This documentary about the Largo venue in Los Angeles. To do produce a work like this, specifically for live performance arts in this segmented form, is one of my dreams. Maybe something like this is possible in Casper? We shall see! But for the time being, it serves up a fresh batch of inspiration for me to work on the videos soon to premiere online! Stay tuned…
  2. Did I mention I came to terms with my affinity for notebooks this week? I feel an eagerness to start writing when it feels immediate, rekindling my love of notebooks is to fire up that old obsession with filling a page. So much so that this week, I finally started working on a song I’ve had in mind for over three years! I have a backlog of music that need lyrics, including a collaboration with my pal Dust Jones– So I’ll need all the momentum I can get! I stumbled upon this article outlining the various types of journaling. It’s given me some ideas this week on how to start using my notebooks for something other than creative writing. I also found this one, which just gave me more notebooks to purchase. I have a problem now.
  3. Re: Working on my songs in the near future, I’ve been looking out for solid free resources to produce beats DIY style. Reddit and this guy were super helpful!
  4. And lastly, I’d like to share a track that has been the soundtrack of my daydreams and scribblings: Michael Kiwanuka’s Cold Little Heart. This song absolutely destroys and gets me to that place just beyond the horizon where I can see my characters clearly…

Enjoy and have a great week, friends.

j

Writing and Editing Night

Podcast night didn’t work out so well last night on account of me collapsing into bed without much warning. It happens from time to time and I have to forgive myself. Yes, I lost a night to work on the editing for the podcast as well as the big videography project, but some days the body just wants a good night’s sleep. So that brings me to tonight: I’m settling in to give the latest episode of Our Kid’s Asleep a final pass and will be working on the Music Festival Highlight to deliver sometime this week. I’m really looking forward to sharing some of the performances captured. I feel completely immersed in the magical weekend! But for now, I’ll try to stay focused and bring about a new episode of the podcast now that summer is winding down and the workload is getting manageable at the office. August was a busy busy month, but incredible rewarding. I’m so lucky to have a job where I can meet people who are working hard to better themselves, no matter the circumstance. I’m inspired by all the folks I meet and work with, so it kind of pushes me to follow my gradual progress, even after five o’clock rolls around. I’m optimistic I will wrap up my videography commitment in September and shift focus to writing my short story collection and recording some music. Hopefully I’ll have a week or two to chip away at these side projects and when the time comes, I’ll start sharing some updates.

OKA Episode 23 Now Playing!

In order to manage my time a bit better, I went back to the pocket agenda, which now goes with me everywhere. As much as I’ve tried my Google calendar, I really struggle with the app on my phone and using the calendar online. I much prefer seeing the week and scratching dates and times and deadlines on a tangible page. It adds a warm sense of urgency that I can’t get from my online calendar. It may sound old school, but I have to go back to the things that make me efficient, and discard the rest.

Good news: I’m sleeping better. It’s not perfect, but I’m making a habit of getting good sleep at least three nights a week (to start with). I’ve noticed I have more energy, I’m sharper at work, and I’m following my creative instincts to some really good ideas lately. I used to think that I would only have time to write or edit or record if I stayed up ’til three in the morning every night, but I’m changing my tune after all this time. There’s enough daylight hours at my disposal, I’m sort of learning to use them! And to be honest, it’s not so much that I’m taking drastic, well regimented steps at this time. My rule of thumb has simply become to do one creative thing a day. So here’s what I am choosing to do to help myself:

  • I’m carrying my idea notebook with me.
  • I’m documenting my progress on my calendar.
  • I’m taking a break when I need it.

It’s not much, but it’s a start. I also wanted to document my diet but that’s been a shit-show. That notebook is starting to become a thesaurus for regret. We’ll see how that one pans out. Regardless, we’re making little strides to keep up the creative side in this complicated, tiring, working class world.

Be well and make some art when you can. I’ll try to do the same.

j

Happy Monday, From Late Sunday.

Wrapping up a little promo for the amazing and fast approaching Oyster Ridge Music Festival! I can’t wait to head there this weekend!

Yes, it’s late, but there are times one must go the extra mile and offer something to the cause. I just wrapped up on this quick promo a few minutes ago, since the festival is just four days away, every little bit helps to keep spreading the word! Oyster Ridge has given me so much in the last few years, and it does so much for the Wyoming arts community that it’s only right I try to bring as much awareness to this festival as possible. Producing web content for the festival has given me so much reward and joy, I can’t help but think of this project year-round. I’ll try to document a bit as I go, but as the festival takes hold, it’s hard to do anything but record and enjoy. Four more days!


In podcast world, Madd and I got back to podcasting on Saturday and should have a new episode this week as well. I had a big editing stumble the last few weeks, so I apologize to our dear friends who came on for episode 20. That episode will be coming out in the coming days! We cover some great movies and have a good time goofing around. For now, checkout the last episode we published, it might be one of our best yet:


On a personal note, I learned a lot this weekend. Sometimes irrational or poorly timed goals lead to a frenzy of time wasted, and energy spent on the wrong things. I tend to follow this pattern often, but a conversation this weekend led me to a helpful observation: It’s tough to get out of your head. Tough to see things from a vantage point other than your own. More importantly, it’s tough to meet the needs of friends and family if you aren’t actively listening. On my best days, I can be a great listener. Attentive and caring, generous. I have fallen short of that standard because thinking about myself and my distractions is more important. It sounds awful as I think this thought and lay it on display for all to see. This is however, the truth. I carry with me what I call, The Delusion: A powerful, intoxicating drug that drives me to fixate on a specific creative project because if I don’t finish it, a part of me will cease to exist. Rinse and repeat. Sadly, I’ve held this thinking for a long time, and its volatile nature has mangled my more healthy behaviors of relationship building and communicating. I firmly believe there is a healthier balance to be found between my creative pursuits and the relationships I hold dear: They must enrich and nurture each other. The secret is in clarity and communication.

I am vowing to be present, to actively listen, and to be proactive in my own life by making choices. I am rejecting complacency and embracing love and selflessness. I don’t know what the hell that means yet, but alas, this is a late night work in progress. Now the work begins.

I hope you had a good weekend too.

j

“Such great heights.”
Check out my original writing prompts on Instagram #icprompts!