The blog needed a change. I needed a change. It was time for something a little more authentic; some personality. Reality. The scary moments and those I relish in remembering. The bad dates, the time I got lost in the NYC subway system, or the moment I hiked 6 miles in 109-degree heat to reach a summit with a view that stopped me in my tracks. And then realized I forgot my camera. Where I stopped to think about the things I cry about, laugh about, savor, learn from and swear never to repeat.
This realization prompted conversations with my nearest and dearest; "what would you want to read about?" and "what makes a piece of literature satisfying?" What can I offer that no other music-addicted, travel-loving photonerd has done before?
The answer was always; "something real. Something personal, likeable, relatable." Or "you go to lots of interesting places, what's that like?" It was also; "well, you're pretty ridiculous sometimes but at least you can laugh at yourself."
I wasn't really sure where to go with this. I set out to write down what motivates me. An attempt at organized re-framing of the blog, our goals, where we wanted to grow. Or rather, I rebranded everything, redesigned the site, came up with a ridiculous new logo, overthought absolutely everything, uploaded a bunch of new never-before-seen photos, wrote a new bio, framed out a brand new blog. And then threw it all out.
But I kept this;
That's not a typo.
It's the search for the things that inspire awe and wonder.
The vocalists' solo sending chills up your spine and into the nape of your neck, the tropical island vista that gives you goosebumps in between beads of sweat in the small of your back. It's the way your breath catches as you glance out from sidestage to a sea of fifty thousand music lovers there for one sole purpose. It's the wonder I feel as I wander from city to city; learning, seeing, experiencing, listening. Beautiful images, beautiful places, incredible people sharing incredible talent. It's the music I fall hard for, often. The art that pulls the air from my lungs. Capturing passion, solidarity, revelry, festivity in a single square.
Lusting for wonder;
I remembered that my favorite story of 2018 was the Life Is Beautiful festival trip where I shared as much about my experience as I did in an official story. I realized that (like any great cheesy quote): the journey is the destination.
This is the new dRiFFt, I suppose. An attempt to capture the experience of travelling outside of our comfort zones, seeking new places and new experiences. Of finding treasures on the road. In local spots as much as exotic destinations; there's adventure to be had in every corner of our world, and there are Instagram-worthy moments in our own backyard. So why not blog about that?
I can't really promise anything from here on out. I don't fully know where this is going, but like any good roadtrip, that's kind of the goal. I know that I've spent two years catering to the whim and whimsy of a bunch of managers, promoters and folk who do little to authentically represent the artists, music, talent, destination, location and creativity that I've fallen head-over-heels for. And fall, I do. Frequently over my clumsy self, but much more frequently for the incredible music, art, performance and places I get to visit, see and experience. Friends always laugh at me for texting "holy shit, dude, I just found my new favorite (thing...)..!" Religiously, with great gusto and much entertainment on their end. I fall for everything; music, art, culture, people, places, festivals, ideas and sometimes even men (shame on me...). I should know better.
Time and time again, though, I've halted in telling the best bits; when I ran backstage in a torrential rainstorm attempting to protect camera gear and was graciously sheltered by a motley crew of celebrities and stagehands. To the horror of security, who did nothing, because by then their headliner had bemusedly struck up a conversation with my bedraggled self and, well, what harm was I, anyway? Or the moment I (literally) ran into sir Ice Cube backstage at a festival, fangirled inexplicably, and then catastrophically failed to sputter a series of even semi-coherent words. Yes, it was that bad. The time I got myself stuck at a shady truckstop in the middle of the night, all alone, roadtripping myself from desert town to desert town in pursuit of the perfect nighttime skyscape. Or the sushi date with a local celebrity where I unceremoniously strode out of the ladies' room and across the floor with flawless red lipstick reapplied, tight black leather clinging in all the right places, and a train of toilet paper stuck to my six-inch heel. Thank you to the restaurant manager who stopped to remedy the situation.
Why am I not writing about this stuff? I've learned to laugh at myself, I've learned to cry but also to celebrate, and to find the good and the learning in every situation. Or just the humor. I've also learned that I'm super-most-definitely-not-cool. But it's more fun being me that way, anyway. No longer will I only write the stories and share the photos that The Manager expects. I'm going to share the real stuff. My travels, my random thoughts, my horrendously bad experiences (that usually turn out to be a great "oh this one time...?" story) and maybe even the things I don't like or I don't agree with. Expect less flowy and poetic, and a little more; "fuck, I just tripped over thin air in front of absolutely everybody, spilled that guy's drink and just about dropped my camera." Because the real me is a combination of excitedly photographing anything that captures my attention, being incredibly klutzy, making friends with anyone and everyone, and finding new ways to explore, experience and write all about it.
It's been a wild ride on the dRiFFt train so far, and I know that as 2018 winds down and a new year stretches ahead of me, those untold adventures are just waiting to become great stories. As an incredible artist once told me; "I'm not looking for perfection, I'm looking for beauty." Join me in the imperfectly beautiful moments as I trip head-over-heels into the New Year.
I love you all. Be kind, be humble, and find a way to laugh at yourself. Because it only gets better from here. Xo
Here you'll find archived band, festival and concert stories... plus blog entries from Team dRiFFt as they travel, photograph, interview and adventure!