How many times have we been told to “write what we know?” From third grade book reports to college admission essays to employment application responses for Best Buy, the same rule applies. Write what you know.
So, Ticonderoga #2 pencil to page, I begin.
What I know for sure is that my name is Allison Strong, a title far grander than I feel, and today is my birthday. I’m closer to 20 than 30, and theoretically closer to birth than death, but God bless the sorry soul that asks me my exact age. They can consult my right under eye wrinkle for a hint.
But I digress…
What else do I know? A little over two years ago, I graduated from college and embarked on one of the most risky adventures of my life: I began recording my first CD (and I didn’t even know that’s what it would become when I started.) Walking out of my no-frills state school with diploma in hand and zero student loan debt, I figured why not? Let’s document three originals for posterity.
The recording studio, replete with fancy microphones and knobs, left my music sounding like magic. It was like my songs had gone to Hogwarts for a year and returned. That’s how good they sounded. Recordings in hand, I left the studio, content with what I had created and eager to get back to my life as a post-grad with a BFA in Musical Theatre.
In other words, I was unemployed. Because a BFA in Musical Theatre is like a pig on roller skates – entertaining but pretty useless. And even though I was graduating with two recent Broadway shows under my belt, that meant nothing in New York because I didn’t work again for almost a year.
But I did fall in love, so I wrote. A few months later, he fell out of love with me, and from the throbbing black pit in my chest, I wrote some more. Soon enough I had an EP, my first live concerts, and finally, a full album. I took what I knew and crafted something beautiful from the wreckage. I called it “March Towards The Sun,” because if you’re still young and pounding the proverbial pavement like me, you’re familiar with the victory march and the obstacles that threaten our forward motion. Still, with tenacity, we all keep moving towards the sun, towards promise, towards tomorrow.
While I don’t know many things, like when the dollar amount in my savings account will go up or where the next adventure lies, the sun has come up on my 24th year and I am grateful: for what I have achieved since my last birthday, and yes, even for that extra candle on my peach pie.