Friends, let us first address the obvious question. Why am I now starting a blog on this, my personal website, after a solid, six year record of staunchly, even proudly, NOT having a blog on this, my personal website?
That...is an excellent question. And one to which I can offer no airtight answer. I mean, I can explain WHY I feel compelled to publish a series of essays here, articles commissioned by no one, destined to be read by few. I can explain my reasons, and I will, but I MUST first acknowledge that there is no acceptable excuse for starting a blog in 2017. Their moment of cultural relevancy has passed. We all can feel it. I apologize to the universe for beginning one well after the mutually agreed on window. I AM just howling into the already crowded void. You are right. MY BAD.
But, yes, I am doing so despite all the overwhelmingly compelling reasons to NOT. Yes, I realize this website (www.philipdavidblack.com) has thus far functioned as a portfolio of my professional, though unspeakably regional, theatre career. Beginning a blog at this point runs the risk of exposing me as an actual human, capable of thoughts outside of the slavish, single-minded pursuit of an acting career. I realize that, and I whole heartedly welcome THAT. I act. I love acting. But I also love cartooning, and writing, and teaching, and improv-ing, and reading, and woodworking, and playing music, and podcasting, and I AM getting married this year, and I DO naively dream of possibly being able to pursue other interests while still acting (on occasion) and somehow still managing to make a living.
My friends, let me make a confession. I loved the library before I loved the theatre. And though I could not now pick a favorite between the two, so dearly do I love them both, I will admit that even while I have BEEN an actor, I have always thought of myself as a writer, without a single shred of justification. I have published NOTHING. Short of sincerely enjoying the writing we are all required to do in school, I have never dipped even a singular toe into the literary lagoon. I can claim only a lackluster comet-tail of half-filled, embarrassingly self-aware journals. If I were to die tonight, that is the only literary legacy that I would leave.
And that is something I cannot allow to continue. Life is short. If you have been alive even a few years, I am sure you have already collided with that cruel fact. I turn twenty-nine this year. Yes, that is still a young age. Sweet of you to say it! But you do not have to be designer of rocket ships to recognize that life, already moving fast, will only accelerate from here, much like the rockets others (probably not you) design. If I do not begin writing now, actually writing, actually setting one word down after another no matter how painful or thankless or wretched the process is I never will.
And because this IS my website, founded, maintained, and financed by me, I shall begin HERE. This is MY blog. It is stupid in 2017 to begin a blog and to assume that it will matter in some deep way, or, indeed, in any way at all. But it is never stupid in 2017 or any other year to begin doing something you love. The writing I do here will begin badly. It may continue poorly. It may never come to much. But I love writing. I love words. And I choose to use them.
I am titling this blog ESSAYS NO ONE ASKED FOR. Each entry will begin with that heading, because I, self-aware to my dying breath, cannot help but acknowledge facts. Mostly, these essays will consist of me griping or ranting about a subject only I care about. Occasionally, the unfurled sail of my ravings may catch hold of an actual, serious idea. I may sometimes argue a point. I may make painful stabs at fiction. I may regale you with tales of my unimpressive acting career, or unload stories from my childhood as the son of Protestant, American missionaries in the suddenly-politically-relevant-again land of RUSSIA. These are all possibilities. Who can say where the winds may take us?
But let's actually start. Enough bluster. Stay tuned.