What better foray into starting a site than an article about entrance.That is, about crossing a threshold into a space or an experience. This first article also happens to feature another sort of entrance, otherwise known as Guy Blakeslee, lead singer of his current band, The Entrance Band, and his latest, eponymous solo project. How are the two intertwined?
Well, this site is one product of a creative journey—now moving at warp speed—that all started from a conversation with the artist. Articulate, soft-spoken, but very secure, Guy left his mark on me when he came to Florence, where I’d been living for two years, to perform with The Entrance Band.
I was stalling out in Florence but had managed to pick up some work doing music reviews and band interviews, and I decided to jump on this [very rare] occasion when a genuinely cool band from The States made its way from the modern world of LA to the stronghold of Renaissance art and Italo-centric street style. A friend of the concert promoter, I easily got an in to hang out with the band before the show and ask a few questions.
It was meant to be my first real, inspired interview. Motivated by a genuine love of the music and curiosity to interact with the band. I saw it as a mini, big break. But it turned out to be far more than that.
I did my spiel, asking them all the pertinent questions, demonstrating some knowledge of the band, and perhaps stumbling through some of the facts in an attempt to seem more professional than I was. Why did I wait so long to ask what I really wanted to ask? Maybe because I thought that wasn’t what mattered. Rather, what mattered was to fill a certain role, fulfill a job requirement. Be the rock and roll band interviewer. We wrapped up. It was what it was. I may post the actual interview on this site eventually, although it no longer has any pressing importance.
Maybe Guy sensed that I was holding back in my questions. Maybe he was taken aback that most of them had been directed not toward him but to his bassist Paz Lenchantin about her role directing their latest music videos, including the mystical-technicolor-dream No Needs. Either way, he approached me again just before the band went on and said he’d be open to talking more if I had anything else I wanted to ask.
That’s when the real interview started. Not an interview worth publishing necessarily. But an interaction that would prove so profound that it’s entirely responsible for the existence of this website, and countless other creative works—everything from songs on the banjo, ukulele and piano, poems, paintings, collages, the creation of a collective art studio space and dark room in the center of Florence. And the buck don’t stop there.
(Yes, Guy, if you ever read this, I took your words to heart. They’ve been a mantra for me ever since, They were the catalyst for moving me out of a creative dark age and into the light.)
What was it he said?
To sum it up, he said write. He said, try to follow the tenets of The Artist’s Way. Clear your consciousness. Un-muddy the waters. Let it flow.
It’s not always easy. It’s a process. It’s a practice. It’s a faith in the power of creativity to heal our spirit. It’s an awareness that creativity is part of our natural state, a place where we belong, inherently. Not a place we need a certain level of talent or experience to gain access to. It’s elusive, but it is not exclusive.
It’s not only not exclusive, but it beckons us to it. Our creative blocks are us denying—out of self-loathing, deprivation, or fear—to follow the way. When you allow yourself, in a temporary state of pure, childlike curiosity and loss of inhibition, to wander down the path, you’ll find that you aren’t going far away into a foreign world, but are coming ever closer to your deepest self.
I always fantasized about what mojo was. That mystical and alluring aura around some, which is sometimes confused with a basic sex appeal, but in reality is something far more compelling, more potent. I could never put my finger on it.
But those fleeting moments when I’m able to wander down the path and face myself, reflected back at me through the mystical waters, I feel it. Like a rush of pure life. My mojo.
This site is about radiating it out to the world.