September 20, 2006

"You've Got to Jump Off Cliffs and Build Your Wings on the Way Down."

Some of my older brothers were big science fiction fans, and classics from Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Douglas Adams, and, of course, Ray Bradbury were a part of my reading environment since before I can remember. One day last week I finally got my Illinois driver's license and Chicago Public Library card. Of course one of the first books I nabbed off the shelves was sci-fi related - Sam Weller's biography of Ray Bradbury.

(I had the book with me the next day when I met a friend at a cafe. He picked it up and said "Hey, do you know Sam Weller? He's a nice guy!" Boy, is the world getting smaller.)

A lot of opportunities to do new things are coming my way these days*. It's so easy to immediately think: "I've never done this before. What makes me think I can do this?"

I conducted my first video interview with a local up-and-coming stand-up comedian this week. (When it's edited, it will be here.) Afterwards we had a drink and chatted more about his creative experiences. He talked about making a snap decision to move temporarily to New York earlier this year, where his career and art took a quantum leap. "I didn't even know where I was going to stay until I got there," he said.

"If you waited until you had every detail taken care of, you'd never go," I said, speaking to both him and myself.

I thought about the Bradbury book again. "You've got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down."

(Interview with Weller here. Collection of Bradbury quotes here. And more here.)

*I'm working on some stuff that will be published in Jargon Chicago. Neat-o.

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