by Ethan Cohen
People often ask how I juggle the activities in my life, how I can play in a jazz combo one day, practice standup comedy the next, and write/direct a play in the middle. They often wonder how I can handle four jobs at once, and when they find out how busy I am, they call me smart.
I am not smart. I like over-stimulation.
Here is the formula at school. You fill all your non-academic time with extracurricular activities. Eating, socializing, exercising, and sleeping should be the only other space. The more activities you pile on, the more friends you will make, the more experience you will amass, the more variety you will understand. When you only have two hours between the Vassar Student Review meeting and the Jazz Ensemble rehearsal to finish up your eight-page paper in Spanish, you buckle down and do it. Under pressure, your brain opens the doors it needs to open to finish the job.
This is why this works: You are happy.
Do you think I will work more productively if I get to the library at seven in the evening and I know that I have absolutely nothing to do except work until I go to bed?
I am looking forward to my meeting, my rehearsal, my event. Sometimes, excitement is distracting. But at the end of the day, I would rather collapse in absolute exhaustion than nod off in moderate moderation.
So this summer, I wanted to work for a publishing press, I wanted to write short plays for a theatre company, and I wanted to read submissions for two others. I jam the schedules into agreement, get up early, stay up late, use that dead afternoon-nap space, and make it work, because if you are doing what you love, how could you ever get enough of it?
Black Lotus by Lita Lepie
"Possibly one of the most artful colloquial narratives of the past decade."
- E. Cohen
"My only criticism is that it wasn’t long enough..."
"...film noir in a book..."
"Awareness of race, gender and sexual orientation shades [Black Lotus] with great depth..."