The Effect of Stories
I grew up falling in love with stories, which I attribute to my mother being an English major and the fact I moved around a lot as a kid. See, my parents are divorced, and every year generally one of them would move to a new place. I didn't find much consistency during those younger years so I believe I became sort of a recluse and stayed in much of the time. I did some extracurricular activity through music, but beyond that, I was mostly at home watching television, reading, or playing a game. I loved the idea of playing games, but when I was with my father, the rule was, "You must read 30 minutes to get 10 minutes of gaming." So, my average day was to go to school, come home, read for 3 hours, and get an hour in front of the computer or the TV to play a game. I grew up with Baldur's Gate, Legend of Dragoon, and the Final Fantasy franchise. With my mother, gaming was more of a family activity; we would watch each other play games like Spyro or Crash Bandicoot.
But ultimately, I think my ability to appreciate stories came from the very first moments of Final Fantasy IX. For those of you who don't know me, that game is my favorite game of all time. Mostly because in that first arc we are (spoilers) trying to kidnap a princess who wants to be kidnapped. Then, through damage sustained to your airship, the ship falls into the forbidden forest. Yada yada – you play through this dungeon area and the party kind of comes together. Except for one character, who ends up sacrificing himself to save the party and at the bitter end he accepts death bravely. I must have been 7 or 8 at the time, not really having very many emotional outlets, but this affected me really hard. From the clever (in my mind) idea of a princess wanting to be kidnapped by people who were hired to kidnap her to the death of a very beloved character who was created to die. At that moment, I had a new perspective of fiction, of stories, and of how to affect a person and tug at those heartstrings.
It really is the small things that affect people. I attribute my desire to create to that moment of seeing the character die. And when I get into the grind of performing music and writing; where sometimes the emotional aspect of it goes away. I remember that moment where the character died and remember I can make those moments for other people. Thus I continue to write, I continue to practice, I continue to create. With practice, I can hopefully stir people in a newfound way and push people to come to a more human level.
On that note, I don't really apply a lot of my emotions into every situation. Even with music, I approach it from a coldhearted mindset. I think stories keep me human in a sense. It reminds me to use my emotions instead of approaching it will cold-hearted integrity. That is what I want to accomplish through my work – that it is okay to be human when the world wants us to be cold-hearted.
Stay tuned for more work.