If there's any moment in life when one feels ready to sally forth, it's when you graduate college. That's the time when you start taking on your dreams instead of just, well, dreaming them. Needless to say, spending your first summer of Real Life painting the dingy dormitories of your alma mater does little to bolster one's ego in The Pursuit of Dreams.
Noah and I, along with several of our friends, needed immediate income, so for three months post-graduation we became employees of the institution from whence we had just matriculated. You can imagine the despair a person who uses words like "whence" and "matriculation" feels answering to a guy named Butch whose main responsibility is making sure you're doing a well enough job of painting over a large spot of mold.*
*I spent much of my time at work writing in my head the expose I would send to The Tennessean. In the end, I just collected my paychecks and vowed to never again do menial work that also compromised health codes.
One of my fellow painters was a guy named Seth Harper. Seth and I had been classmates all through college in the English program; he also studied theater. In short, we could feel each others' pain.
On a particularly horrible day painting a dormitory whose air conditioner had been shut off, Seth and I were tasked with tackling a long hallway. He asked if I was writing anything. In a flash of uncharacteristic brilliance, I saw an opportunity, and began relating a story about a young witch named Helen Porter who found herself at a school of magic. Amazingly, I was able to waffle on for several minutes before Seth caught on.
To be fair, "gullible" isn't one of the first adjectives I'd use to describe Seth. What stands out most in my mind is Seth's musical talent. He frequently had a guitar on hand—in fact, Noah's first guitar was Seth's first guitar. Every year, Seth and his roommate, Paul, would put on a Christmas pajama party in the university's common area, which featured dramatic readings of Christmas classics and festive, original song parodies.
In my mind, though, Seth's Golden Ticket Idea was Evolution: The Musical. I can't remember how far he got in composing the score, but I do remember thinking costuming would be an issue.
Last week, Seth released his first real album, Trilogy. And when I say "real," I mean it; the album's producer is Andrew Osenga. When I listened to the album's three songs, I was moved nearly to tears, not only by the fact that a friend of mine could create something so beautiful, but on the album's merit alone.
You can listen to the first song, "And the world was an ocean" (which happens to be my favorite), on Seth's myspace page, but I urge you to purchase the album on iTunes. It's just $2.99—truly a bargain for the talent and work that surely went into it—but, as any artist/musician/writer just starting out surely knows, your support is worth much more than the price tag indicates.