My Real-Life Version of ABC’s Hit Primetime Drama Nashville 

Y’all. (And I do mean y’all.)

Can we talk about how obsessed I am with the new ABC drama Nashville after having seen just two episodes?

Yes? OK, good, because this ex-Nashville resident is hooked. (Yes, I refer to myself as an ex-Nashville resident even though I only lived there for a single summer.)

This brilliant series has inspired me to reflect on the real-life version of the show that I lived through just a year and a half ago.

For anyone who wasn’t reading during that era of Keychanges – here’s what went down:

This blog was actually created in Nashville after I moved there for a summer of meetings with various music publishers to explore a potential career as a country songwriter.

After being validated by music executives in the sense that I was great but not great enough to cut the forty-thousand-aspiring-songwriters-trying-to-make-it-in-Nashville line, I got all depressed and started Keychanges (does the name make more sense now?) as a way to work through the pain of being told that I’d have to pay actual dues in the music business.

(Fun fact: to create a vague sense of anonymity, I originally added a “K” to my name and blogged under the incredibly ineffective pseudonym Nick. Clearly, that desire for anonymity was never very strong, and has since gone out the window entirely — but Nick kind of lingers on in other areas of my life. In fact, the other day I had an IM conversation with a coworker about the spelling of my name and I was all like, “You know, I was just thinking about how stressful it’s going to be to pick out what my engagement party banner will say, because of all of the potential spellings of my name! Like, do I want ‘Congratulations _____ and Nic,’ or ‘…and Nick,’ or maybe, ‘…and Nicolas?'” and then she was like “Oh! Are you engaged?” and I was forced to respond with, “No… I’m totally single,” and then she thought it was hilarious but I was kind of offended by the fact that she thought I was the kind of person who would be engaged and choose to creepily withhold his fiancé’s identity from her by putting a blank where his name should be in a hypothetical engagement party banner scenario — but I didn’t say anything about it because I didn’t want to come off as confrontational and/or inadvertently create a hostile work environment.)

I realize that was the longest tangent ever, and I sincerely apologize. Back to Nashville.

After a few weeks in town, I started frequenting Nashville’s (two) gay bars and realized that I’m a total prude.

Then I realized that I had unintentionally led my new found blog audience to believe that I was a virgin, so I felt the need to clarify that I would totally sleep with an ER doctor if the opportunity presented itself.

Then I started watching Heroes on DVD and blogged about how Hayden Panettiere almost makes me feel like a straight man. (Freakin’ crazy because that’s now happening again on Nashville… Full circle, anyone?)

Then I read a few books and reviewed them, which led to the revelation that I’m basically just a Mormon gal trying to find love in the Big Apple.

Then I got hit on by a drunk guy fake-named Charley and tried to quell the awkwardness by telling him a totally false, convoluted story about how I’m Jewish and sober and spent two months on a kibbutz in Isreal and couldn’t sleep with Charley because I have a Jewish boyfriend, and the whole situation somehow led to the discovery that maybe I didn’t hate New York after all.

Then I left Nashville but couldn’t find a new apartment in the city, so I lived with my mom for a month and had a severe emotional meltdown after finding a box of condoms under the bathroom sink.

Wow. Where the hell was I during the series development stages of Nashville?

Because this is all pure gold.



There Really Needs to be an “I” in Team

I must confess.  After re-reading my last post and its subsequent comments, I realize that I may have inadvertently led people to conclude the following:

  • I have morals
  • I’m a virgin
  • I’ve never had a one-night-stand

None of the above statements are true.  Kidding — I totally have morals!  Which is why I can’t deny the fact that I did indeed experience my own condensed version of the “slutty college years” before landing on my current set of conservative beliefs.  Granted, they were months and not years, as I spent most of undergrad in two separate long-term relationships… both of which involved frequent lovemaking.  I love getting naked; I just associate it with silly things like intimacy and feelings.

Anyone who is celibate for any reason — I totally respect you.  Anyone who gets around like a bicycle — I totally respect you as well (just don’t give me herpes).  I’m in no position to judge.

Ultimately, what I’m trying to say is that if you read my blog and you happen to be a 29-year-old, 6’1″ dark-haired ER doctor with lean muscle mass and a flawless bone structure — don’t think I won’t sleep with you.  Because I will.  I’ll just insist that we get married, buy a raised ranch, and adopt a Guatemalan baby afterwards… No big deal.

But enough about gay sex!

On the career front, I have a co-write session booked this Friday morning on Music Row with an awesome up-and-coming folksy-country artist originally from Indiana.

I’m hesitantly coming to terms with the necessity of co-writing.  Pretty much everything on the radio these days is co-written.  It’s why whenever Beyoncé has a new single out you can expect to hear 5-10 different writer/producers referring to it as solely theirs while the other 4-9 end up posting angry, misspelled tweets.  And so on.

Here’s the thing: I secretly hate working with others.

This is not to say that I’m some kind of disgruntled misanthrope… though that’s sometimes true.  I’m just obsessed with the perfection of any final product that has “by Nick” attached to it.  This applies to group work in school, where one of two things invariably ends up happening:

  1. I basically complete the entire project myself and pretend that allowing the other student(s) to take equal credit is no biggie.
  2. I give up control completely, detach myself from the final results, and allow others to do all the heavy lifting while I daydream about Josh Duhamel in his undies.

Needless to say, I’m obsessed with my GPA (not that it matters in grad school).  So unless my partners are more brilliant than me — I’m such a douche — I generally stick with option number one.

This approach is not viable when it comes to songwriting.  Reasons being:

  • The point of co-writing is to incorporate different backgrounds/styles, thereby creating something better than one could come up with alone.
  • If one person sat around not contributing it would totally kill the vibe in a “why are you even here?” kind of way.
  • If the song actually goes somewhere commercially, there’s money at stake.  When splitting royalties, it helps (for general being-able-to-sleep-at-night purposes) to know that all parties indeed contributed equally.

In 2009, famous choreographer Twyla Tharp wrote a book called The Collaborative Habit, in which she discusses how imperative it is to work well with others.  After unabashedly judging the crap out of her for writing the book alone (and then realizing that I was wrong and she had a contributor), I gave it a skim.  I quote:

Collaboration is how most of our ancestors used to work and live, before machines came along and fragmented society.

Am I supposed to feel like a bad human now?  Seriously, Twyla, get a Facebook!

                                                     Slightly Recommended

But for real, I understand that Rome wasn’t built by a single person.  (Yes, I modified that saying to suit my blogging needs.)  Granted, writing a song is different than building an empire.

Nevertheless, I do recognize that writing alone involves limitations.  I play piano, my co-writer plays guitar; this is an opportunity to get outside of my box.  I also recognize my need to get over myself and accept the idea that accomplishing something with someone else doesn’t make it any less of an accomplishment.  Thus, I’m looking forward to Friday morning.  It will be just my fifth co-write ever, and five is a great number for change.  A key change! Oh snap.

I will be going into that writing room armed with the following:

  • An open mind and willingness to collaborate
  • A few unfinished ideas that I have no strong emotional attachments to
  • A liter of Evian

The recipe for success, am I right?

Oh and one last thing — if you happen to be that above-mentioned ER doctor and you’re still reading, please don’t think that my issues with working together carry over into the bedroom.  I promise they don’t.  Call me!  (Though I might lead you on, back out at the last minute, and then melodramatically blog about it later.)

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