Monday, January 21, 2008

My bio

I hate writing bios.

Part of what started me writing at all was composing bios for bands I was in who could not get a review (or could not get a review that, you know, really GOT what the band was about).

[NOTE TO ASPIRING BIO-WRITING BANDS: no one is needing to read how you are different from the other thousand post-rock, neo-soul, hip-hop bluegrass bands. Tell them who snores, who skips out on the bill, who gets the tail and how. Make them laugh. Entertain - it ain't about music. The music is about the music. The bio is about getting attention. That's why people drop names. It's not that they necessarily care who the people are, it's that they think YOU care. And you might - or you might not - but either way, you'll pay attention to them a little longer if they ate a bagel with Jennifer Aniston, even if only to throw ice at them.]

Ahem. Where was I?

Okay, so sure, yeah: I long for the day when someone will tout my genius FOR me and I can just walk in the room after everyone has been debriefed on my myriad accomplishments. But until then, I am very proud of the work I've done and I sweat each time I write a bio. I just don't know what I'm doing. I get overwhelmed. And I forget. A few years back when a.m. Sunday scored the music for "Touched" at the Kentucky Center for The Arts, it was pointed out that I'd made no mention of my musical accomplishments in the bio that was sent with the grant proposal and used in the program.

"Now Ramundo," I'll often tell myself, "why go through the trouble of moving to New York only to get modest when asked what you're about?" And I have to agree with myself on some level, but in the context of a theater program its confusing to me. What is relevant in 50 words or less? I list band names. Roles. Responsibilities. Donations (when I've had it to give). Play titles. Charity work (not really). Film titles. Notable directors (ones I know, anyway). Works in progress. I try to make the shit pop but without seeming desperate, you know? I'm always over in my word count. (Desperate!) But no matter how many times I rewrite the bio, by the end I realize I am still on some small level always going to be expressing how my brand of neo-realist hip hop post rock bluegrass crunk prose-ack jive is like noneother. For the few minutes I write my bio, I am brought to a place of self doubt, where I wonder if the perfromance they see will not be enough for them to know I am the Lord and Savior Only Son Of God, eternally begotten and returned in flesh and blood to play upon the lighted stage for their terrible sins. Hard, I tell you. It's hard.

Anyway, tonight, after I sent what had to be the umpteenth sad draft of my bio to a theater, I wrote what I really wanted to say:

"This is what I do. I sit in a room. Sometimes alone, sometimes with people I can't believe I'm lucky enough to be around. We think, we chat. We hit stuff, we make noise, we let things arrive. These things may be expressed into a guitar, a microphone, a recording console or a word processor. My role in the process might be classified as playing, nursing, arranging, writing, drumming, acting, singing, producing, witnessing, or cooking. Thank you. (myspace.com/chezrizzo)"

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