• cogswellmatt77

Midnight Musings: Out of Memory

It is already past midnight. I was hoping to go live on my YouTube channel,

but I received a message that my channel was not yet approved for live streaming and I had to wait 24 hours. Maybe when I'm sleepless tomorrow night (tonight?) it will be available for me. This laptop has been having memory issues, and I can't figure out how to fix that right now. I'm writing this on Google Chrome after remembering the correct variation of my password for Wix, where I manage my site. Anyway, at various times today (yesterday?) I would have all my tabs open and my Internet connection would crash. I would get an Out of Memory message on the most recent page. I think there's symbolism there. It would happen when I would have all my 'publicity' windows open: my Facebook, my two personal emails, Twitter, Instagram, NPX, my website just to see how it looks today after another rebranding.

At various times over the past week, utilizing various groups within Facebook, I tried to get people to subscribe to my YouTube channel. It did grow from 4 to 12 subscribers. I've had this gnawing thought that the numbers matter. The channel and my website are being featured, somehow, in a recognition ceremony for a writing and acting competition where I did not advance to the finals. I wanted whomever would see my channel to know that I have fans for my art. I can't do much more. It's disheartening. It's disheartening because I had a larger subscriber base of 50 at one time, and I got rid of that and most of the content. There is this piece of paper that I've had on my wall of notes that had a recording of all this video performance productivity I had in July and August 2017. All that old content is gone, yet I believe I had this up there as a reminder that I do have that in my repertoire, still, four and a half years after I first really started to embrace YouTube as a tool.

The yellow paper was taken down after I arranged for this photo to be put here. On the other side of it is notes for my speech class. I have other versions of this same lecture content, another reminder that I just keep recycling the same ideas, especially in my teaching. I have a whole section of the wall before me dedicated to teaching ideas for my writing class, just to fill all the required class time. I am thankful for today's storm for at least cancelling today's pressure. Okay, enough teacher mode. Back to what makes me happy. Above that now absent yellow paper are titles of monologues that I created at various times over the past few years and presented as part of a writing/presenting group I belong to more recently. Above that are monologues from what was known as One Angry Gay Man. I continue to revise that piece in writing, at least. One of my characters, Reese, who appeared three times in the film version, now appears twice, with some combination of ideas. One thought was to combine the OAGM characters with new monologues and monologues yet to be created as a longer one-man show. The notes to the left were notes I took as I sat waiting for a class to begin last semester as I contemplated what they thought of me through Zoom. Out of reach of the photo are notes for a play about my teaching career, a play which, once performed, would guarantee that I never teach again. Clearly I'm not ready to let go of my safety net, as much as I would love to let go of my safety net.

Anyway, these "newer" monologues need new performing life. I put newer in quotation marks because one piece is several years old, maybe ten years, and some were at least four years ago. Three of them have been performed by someone else, either as a staged reading or a recorded performance. Some of the ideas are out of sync with where I am as a person right now, but I still think they are important narratives. I think I'll scratch this next one from the show and let it live in YouTubeLand.

This piece bothers me. Although the concept is fictitious, most of the narrative is based on real truth and people had trouble separating the art from the artist with this one. Plus, I'm more than a half-year past 43. Most importantly, although I am still working on my body, the word "fat" haunts my vision as I look on my wall of ideas. Other pieces probably deserve the same chopping. They had their moments, and there are better works of mine out there. Matt Cogswell | New Play Exchange

Periodically, I do find bursts of inspiration to create new. Those moments usually come when I know there is a deadline and an audience waiting to see that work. I just finished a chapter in Walking in This World where Julia Cameron writes about not mourning what hasn't worked (enter mental list of all these ideas over the years) but instead asking "what's next?"

This is what I want next, and maybe putting this out into the universe will help facilitate this.

I want to COLLABORATE. Even I'm tired of seeing myself in my works. I want to work with other actors, playwrights, creators, dancers, painters, photographers, clowns. I want to work with people who want to try, who want to expand, who want to enlarge their lives as desperately as I want to enlarge my own.

Well, until next time, my dear reader(s).

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In December 2018 a very short 'play' of mine, which was more like an SNL skit, premiered in front of a live audience. Before then, it had been twenty years since my words were the context of a perform