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12/31/2008
HAIL AND FAREWELL
CATEGORY: Blogging

In my youth, I fancied myself an actor. A degree in theater from Drake followed by a couple of modest successes with professional dinner theaters had me confident that I would be able to make a living someday.

Then, one day, I wandered into an audition in Chicago for some long forgotten musical. It was a “cattle call” where anyone and everyone was invited to try out. You bring a piece of music to sing and a short speech from a play and when your name is called, you go onstage and give it your best.

I had gone through this routine several times in my short career so I knew it was the longest of long shots. Usually, the director (or assistant director) cuts your song after a few bars with a very loud and impersonal “Thank you, we’ll be in touch,” and that’s it. You can wait 8-10 hours for a chance to be told in “theaterese” that you’re a chump for even trying so go home and get a law degree or something that will help you make a living.

Waiting in the back of the theater, I watched as one rather plain looking woman trudged to the middle of the stage and announced her name. The music started - “Another Hundred People” from Company was what she had chosen to sing - and when she opened her mouth, it was pure magic. It was incredible the talent, the verve, the sparkle that she put into the piece. The director let her sing a few bars more than anyone else - no doubt as mesmerized as I was with her ability - and then yelled “Thank you,” and that was it. The plain Jane trudged off the stage and back into pure obscurity.

It was then I realized that talent had little to do with “making it” in show business. That woman had as much talent as Barbara Streisand - perfect pitch, astonishing phrasing, and a vibrato that put a lump in your throat - but was destined to fail. Hard work, having a good agent, and making your own breaks counted more than any talent one might possess. That and a supreme, inner confidence in yourself to be able to withstand the constant barrage of people telling you that you are no good, that you can’t make it, that you are wasting your time. If you listen to the rich and famous actors, almost all of them have the same stories of struggling for 5, 10, even 20 years before realizing their goals.

It was then and there that I was cured of the acting bug and decided to take up my father on his offer to place me as an intern in the Sears government affairs office in Washington, D.C. I vowed never to regret that decision. But every once and a while (especially when I see some jamoke of an actor like Hayden Christiansen who can’t act their way out of a paper bag getting paid a gazzillion bucks in Star Wars), I think what might have been if I had the courage to pursue that dream.

Here I am 31 years later, I haven’t been on a stage since that day, pursuing another dream - that of making a living as a writer. What an odd and serendipitous set of circumstances that have brought me to the point where I can claim a modest success in going after that dream. I haven’t lit up the sky with my name or changed the world with my pen. But I know that my thoughts have caused some of you to re-examine your own beliefs just as many of the thoughts you have shared with me have forced me to rethink some of my own conclusions.

This coming year, I have resolved to write more - a lot more - than in 2008. I hope to write a book and contribute to other conservative publications. Where that will leave this blog, I am unsure. I am already fighting time constraints to get something on this site nearly everyday. But I suspect, as with many things, if it is important enough to you, you will find the time to do it. This site and you, oh, gentle readers, are indeed important to me. For that reason, I hope you stick with me during the coming year - a year that promises to be very interesting and productive.

The years are beginning to pass as if I were walking downhill now - not like when I was a kid and summer lasted forever as did the school day. Somewhere along the way in the last few years, I began to notice a blurring together of weeks and months. Wasn’t the election just yesterday? And it seems but an eyeblink has occurred since we celebrated the Fourth of July. Is the baseball season over already? Or are they getting ready to start up again?

A function of age no doubt. The big “Double Nickel” lands next month and I am discovering that I have less and less enthusiasm in “celebrating” birthdays. What’s there to celebrate? Getting one year closer to the end?

Yes, it’s true that you become more fatalistic the older you get.

But it is also true that with a modicum of good health and a song in my heart, I can still kick up my heels and enjoy life. And I fully expect 2009 to be full of joyful moments and laughter, and love and all the things that make life a fullfilling and rich experience for those of us lucky enough to live now, here in the United States.

And I hope the same for you.

Rick Moran
Proprietor
Right Wing Nuthouse

By: Rick Moran at 2:18 pm
23 Responses to “HAIL AND FAREWELL”
  1. 1
    Two Dogs Said:
    2:50 pm 

    I know all too well of which you speak. I’ll keep watching, sir.

  2. 2
    michael reynolds Said:
    4:04 pm 

    I’m lucky enough to make my living writing. (Fiction.) It is very hard to both write a book and blog. Most writers have a preferred time of day for writing. Morning for most of us. And you have to decide how to spend that time. Which is why I usually relegate blogging to the time of day when I’m half drunk and waiting for the Ambien to kick in. (Insert your own snark here.) My advice: follow the money.

  3. 3
    Gormless Worm Said:
    4:48 pm 

    So you saw Glenn Close get the hook early in her career? ;D

  4. 4
    belad Said:
    5:50 pm 

    Rick,

    I am sure that as you have stimulated me, and I’m sure others, to exercise our brains through your blogging, we will find you no matter where you go.

    Good fortune in 2009 and beyond.

  5. 5
    bhrio Said:
    6:16 pm 

    Yes, I too have pushed up the double nickels too this past year. So I can equate but all it takes is one good point or that one story to make-up for all that hasn’t came through for us. Write on! Till they take that keyboard out of our cold,dead hands. Besides there is going to be way to much good material to give-up on it now.I mean look Blago-Boy,Cindy McKinneys relief boat,ohhh there is going to be so much inspiration so keep the fingers nimble and “Lets Roll.”

  6. 6
    jambrowski Said:
    6:54 pm 

    happy new year rick, thanks for everything and good luck to you in all that you do.
    cheers,

  7. 7
    retire06 Said:
    9:20 pm 

    Happy New year

    God Bless Barack Hussein Obama

  8. 8
    David Said:
    9:26 pm 

    “have less and less enthusiasm in “celebrating” birthdays”

    Birthdays are good for you, the more of them you have, the longer you live. Celebrate them.

  9. 9
    The Lady Logician Said:
    11:34 pm 

    ROFLOL - I read that first part Rick and I thought I was reading my husband. I have heard that rant many a time in the past.

    Best wishes to you and yours in the coming new year.

    LL

  10. 10
    Mark H. Said:
    12:46 am 

    The worst part about accelerating time is when you find cans of stuff in the kitchen cabinet that expired 2-3 years prior, yet you remember buying them “yesterday.”

  11. 11
    Mike Duhig Said:
    2:33 am 

    Good for you Rick!

  12. 12
    Jazz Said:
    6:48 am 

    This essay was the first thing I read in 2009, and I’m glad I did. Thanks for all of the terrific reading in 2008, Rick. I look forward to the new year and hope you keep on here, but if it needs to slow down to allow for other opportunities, I’m sure we’ll all understand.

    Here’s hoping for the best for us all.

  13. 13
    Bela1 Said:
    9:38 am 

    Mr. Moran,
    I wanted to thank you for your insightful comments and contributions, and leading me down convincing paths of thought for all of us to contemplate and explore. I’ve enjoyed your website for many years now, and it takes a special person (rare these days) to do what you are doing. Take care, God Bless, and the best to you and yours, as always. Have a wonderful, properous, and safe New Year!

  14. 14
    djh Said:
    10:00 am 

    May you have a happy/ prosperous and productive New Year.
    I look forward to you comments on what appear to be “interesting times”
    Plus, please, 24, your comments make the experience so much more.

  15. 15
    boqueronman Said:
    12:50 pm 

    For personal reasons your essay is welcomed. My son recently graduated from a university actor training program. He now has an agent, is a member of a theater production cast, and is clutching at unpaid video (in its broadest sense) acting opportunities. All of this while doing odd jobs such as door-to-door sales, product delivery, etc. I know he knows the hard road he has chosen, made harder because he is a hard core conservative in politics. But he has our support and I think he’ll find his own path. Happy New Year to you and your readers.

    I wish him the best. One of my friends from college was Michael Emerson who plays Benjamin Linus on Lost. He quit the business for many years before going back to school and getting a few breaks in the 1990’s. Another friend from high school teaches while appearing regularly on the stage in Chicago - not regularly enough to make a living at it, unfortunately.
    The point being, there are many paths to success and I hope he finds his.

    ed.

  16. 16
    Russell Miller Said:
    11:27 pm 

    I generally don’t agree with you on a lot of things. In fact, on a lot of things I consider you to be full of bovine excrement.

    However, I found myself listening to KTLK yesterday while I was on the way to the store, and some guy in for Rachel Maddow was going on about the whole “Barack the Magic Negro” song. And I found myself disagreeing with him as well. So what if it’s offensive? So what, even, if a blowhard such as Limbaugh liked it (that, to me, is usually an indication that I sould stay far away). I am sometimes offensive to make a point as well, and I started thinking… I’m not entirely sure that just shutting the debate down with calls of “racism” is the right thing to do in this case.

    Maybe I’m turning a little more to the right than I used to be. Or maybe I’m just starting to see the same thing I see in the conservatives in the liberals.

    I keep reading here. Because unlike Malkin or hotair.com or their ilk… you at least are trying to keep an open mind, and you’re at least trying to see people like me, who disagree with you, sometimes *strongly*, as human beings. I suppose that’s all I can ask for.

    Keep writing. At the very least, you’re giving me some incentive to start blogging again, if only to say “Oh, that Rick Moran is being stupid again, and here’s why”. And isn’t that all blogging really is, anyway?

    Have a nice year.

  17. 17
    Russell Miller Said:
    11:30 pm 

    Oh. And I should mentioned - I accompanied “Another Hundred People” in a production of “Side by Side by Sondeim” once (I’m a pianist). That particular song, you get the right person singing it and it’ll send chills up your spine. Sondheim was a master at word painting.

  18. 18
    Russell Miller Said:
    11:34 pm 

    baqueronman: You son will probably make it just fine. I don’t think the industry (I should state that while I live in the LA area I’m about as far away from the industry as I can possibly be because I have some sense of personal integrity) cares one whit what your son believes, as long as he can extract as much money from the talent, the studios, or even better, both. I have found hard-core conservatives to be particularly skilled at extracting blood from a turnip. Witness their ability to raise tremendous amounts of money for things like ID “research” and creationist museums.

    Nah, he’ll be just fine, and he’ll likely fit right in.

  19. 19
    Gaia's Child Said:
    1:17 am 

    Rick, I really enjoy your blog; it is one of the few that I try to read everyday. So I will miss you but I’ll still be checking in. The 55 is a milestone and you need to follow your dreams. Thank you for all the thought provoking articles and for bringing comments back. Good luck to you.

  20. 20
    lionheart Said:
    8:25 am 

    I spend too much time reading dozens of blogs. You are, by far, the best writer on the circuit. I can’t wait to read your book!

  21. 21
    Digital Publius Said:
    10:08 am 

    An inspirational farewell, Good fortune Rick.

  22. 22
    Silvio Said:
    11:09 am 

    Happy New Year.

    We appreciate your show and work.

  23. 23
    Eric Said:
    5:07 pm 

    Hey Rick, keep it up. I have no doubt we’ll keep checking in. . . even if there’s a day or two without a missive. And an advance happy birthday!

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