David Boles’ Personal History: December 13, 1994

A career is an interesting thing in comparison with a life. The career is temporary, but the life is both temporal, and temporary. The other day, for some reason, Ezra Stone was bothering my mind, as I tried to remember why he had contacted me so many years ago. I did a quick search of my Google Docs and his name popped up in a document titled — “David Boles’ Personal History” — dated December 13, 1994. That file turned out to be a wowser!

I am not sure why that document was originally written. I was three years out of my MFA at Columbia University in the City of New York. Oftentimes, these personal histories are written for grants, but this file was too personal, and specific for a grant committee — the file reads as if I were forcing myself to remember what happened for some existential reason.

One thing I noticed about the file is that it is filled with names — and that still astonishes me, that so much effort and time for what I was trying to do was not really ever about the actual work, but it was more about the personalities involved. I’m an INTJ, not really a people person, so it makes sense I had more ongoing success working alone in Nebraska than I ever did working with the creative gangs in New York City. On your own, you’re on your own to live or die; I always thrived. In the City, you a play a limited role by design, and you have to hope others are as dedicated to you, and to your idea, as you are — but it never turns out that way.

Nobody wants to pay for anything; they want every idea for free; and you always hope it’s about the work — but as you’ll see — it’s never about the work. It’s only about — the money!

This document may have been a tipping point or a turning point — two years later I started Go Inside Magazine — and began writing and publishing on my own. I could serve only the Master I knew, and no longer the talents I did not understand.

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Peter Stone and the Short Con

Peter Stone was a great writer of Broadway musicals, movies and television.  He was also prickly, an un-diagnosed INTJ personality, and a good friend and mentor.  Peter always told me I was more than an assistant.  I was his associate.  That distinction with a difference meant a great deal to me.

When Peter was working on — The Will Rogers Follies — we had a lunch routine we never broke:  Tuna fish sandwiches on a roll with mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato and provolone and a Martinelli’s apple cider to wash it all down.  Our time to talk about life and art and living was in that break when we’d walk to and from the corner deli to pick up our lunch.

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The Irreparable Insult: John Denver Does Not Star on Broadway as Will Rogers

Few people know that when “The Will Rogers Follies” was readying itself for Broadway, John Denver was supposed to play Will Rogers.  The role was originally written for him:  The book (the script) and the music and the lyrics were sculpted to fight John Denver’s sense of humor and singing range.

Continue reading → The Irreparable Insult: John Denver Does Not Star on Broadway as Will Rogers