My Thought Catalog e-book is for sale on Amazon, iBookstore, and Barnes & Noble. Purchasing a copy helps support a child in need. I am that child in need. For just pennies a day, you can boost my fragile ego and save me from a life of selling life insurance plans door-to-door. God bless you.
8:35 am |
September 17 2013
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Letters from my Therapist by Dave Schilling
Dave Schilling lays everything out on the table. The stakes are high. Knowledge is meant to be hidden for a reason. In ‘Letters from my Therapist’ Dave Schilling reveals his cholesterol-caked heart (if his fast-food eating habits are to be believed). Never before has a book been so heavily laden with pop culture references, life history and casual Gmail name drops. By taking this approach Dave Schilling manages to reach out to the reader in a literal direct form. Keeping this mixture of self-depreciation with odd bursts of confidence makes it rather unpredictable. Snarky phrasing makes it pretty funny.
Online life is starting to define more of life on Earth. Worry does not exist online. Anxiety resides in reality. Right in the virtual realm Dave Schilling manages a great deal more. Projecting an image of complete awareness yet not having to deal with the problems of real life, Dave Schilling finds a comfort zone in the internet. Human interaction happens mostly online.
Relationships suck for poor pathetic Dave Schilling. Pizza rejects him. Breakups from decades ago haunt his fragile eggshell mind breaking it to make a delicious omelet. The omelets create other difficulties as Dave Schilling goes into overdrive about his terrible eating habits. Much of this reeks of self-help therapy, which is ironic as Dave Schilling’s therapist weighs in on some of the heftier topics with her personal insight.
The therapist serves as the sane one in these many stories. Her advice is sounder than her choice of coffee table. With the power of the impasse and threat of legal action she manages to add a bit of logic to the otherwise strange tales. Occasionally these offer insight for Dave Schilling, a person who feels further and further disconnected from reality. Retreating into the internet, the past, and dwelling on inadequacies, Dave Schilling appears to trend into murky sad territory. Everywhere the twenty-something suffers from these problems. However through the addition of geographic idiosyncrasies Dave Schilling shows off the many complexes that Los Angeles has. Over-reliance on cars, feeling small because of insults from New York, in a way Dave Schilling shows how his life parallels nicely with the city he calls home.
Dave Schilling accurately articulates what it means to be a pretentious obnoxious insecure individual on the internet. In other words he shows the reader what it is like to be human in a world where interaction goes through constant filters, helping to dull away the pain of rejection through impersonal personal interactions.
10:33 am |
June 28 2013
| 3 notes
Episode 110: Fletch with Dave Schilling
Dave Schilling (writer for Thought Catalog, Vice, Hipster Runoff, and Machinima) has a serious discussion with professors Dave and Julia about the goofy Chevy Chase comedy: Fletch. The Academics explore the career of Chevy Chase, prostate exams, moon rivers, dads, celebrity doppelgangers, the Chase vs. Murray debate, divorce, male pattern baldness, and Doctor Who for some reason. It’s all pretty complicated, let Friday Night Film School fill you in.
Hosted and Created by Julia Prescott & Dave Child
Music by Paul-El
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Direct download of episode here.
Subscribe on iTunes here.
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11:53 am |
September 28 2012
| 1 note
Gchat Interview with Frank Hinton, Author of ‘Action, Figure’
Purchase Action, Figure from Tiny Hardcore Press
In a war-torn wasteland someone wakes wounded and blind to a life they don’t remember or understand. Halfway across the world a woman builds an intricate city out of personal debris to celebrate a brief period of happiness. Just downstairs a man sits meditating before his rumbling clothes dryer contemplating harsh realities of adulthood that seem to be rushing forth to consume. These are the lives of Frank and Lili, two roommates and sometimes lovers unable to accept or cope with anything but each other.
Set amongst an unknown exploding city and Halifax, the city that once exploded, Action, Figure moves within and merges streaming consciousness, self-loathing, and the recovering mind as three lost souls move to scaffold realities they don’t accept. To cope they attack themselves in whatever way they can, hoping that whatever survives will see through to better days.
me: so, first off, tell me about the genesis of this book
8:10 PM Frank: um i was writing a piece for roxane gay the editor for a book of stories and i wrote something like, 10000 words and sent it to her and she came back at me with an idea to write a full on book
so i spent 2011-2012 kind of putting that together
me: which characters from the final book were around in the short story version?
8:11 PM Frank: um they were, and they were in some other stories as well. i think i just have certain people come in and out of my stories
they feel useful in a lot of places
8:12 PM me: we sort of discusses this before, but there’s a theme of stunted emotional growth that runs throughout the whole book. do you feel like this is a cultural trend or is it specific to the world you’ve created?
8:15 PM Frank: i feel like in my experience there is a certain struggle to grow or know what growing is when you feel isolated. things seem to make speed and perfection the ultimate goals and people can’t slow down and look at themselves the way they want to, i think i was kind of talking about that… by writing about that stop in-between youth and adulthood
you kind of come to a point where you need to decide what kind of adult you want to be
and my strategy for a while was just to avoid it
10:36 pm |
August 28 2012
| 20 notes
I’m Doing Stand-Up at My High School Reunion
“Hey David, I don’t know if you were planning on going, but…”
Whenever someone uses my full first name, I am immediately aware that what follows will be correspondence from someone I grew up with.
“We were wondering if you would be interested in doing stand-up comedy at the reunion in October.”
I received this Facebook message from the organizer of my upcoming high school reunion last week. I was not aware at the time that reunions included potentially embarrassing displays of talent from members of the class. I certainly didn’t think that the talent in question was one I should be sharing with people that knew me when I was a virgin.
I don’t do as much stand-up as I used to. I started doing comedy in college, then had a solid two years of really putting a concerted effort into stand-up as my primary pursuit. At some point in the last year, I started to feel like I was chasing something unfulfilling and depressing, sort of like driving through town to find the last store selling Microsoft Zunes. A life spent going from city to city, sleeping in motel rooms and begging for love from strangers at 2 AM was something close to the dictionary definition of sadness. I’m depressed enough when the McRib goes away for the year. Why would I add more excuses for me to cover myself in five blankets and play Smiths songs until it ‘stops hurting’ to my routine? I perform when I feel like it’s worth my effort, but I may never go back to the days when I’d stay up all night trying to find a half-deserted coffee shop that will let me be funny for seven minutes.
In lieu of stand-up, I spend most of my time writing, cursing at tourists, attending craft fairs, cleaning the hair out of my shower drain and figuring out credible excuses for not going to my high school reunion. Most of those activities are more fun than being on a stage. As I read the Facebook message a second time, I felt a twinge of guilt when pondering the concept of agreeing to do something I don’t even take seriously anymore. I hatched a scheme to offer a series of alternative talents. I could write them some emotionally raw essays or perhaps model my collection of modestly priced blazers. Surely they would be in awe of the oversharing of my personal demons and my keen ability to be stylish, yet thrifty.
After a few hours of thinking, pacing, sweating and cowering in a corner sucking my own thumb, I came to the realization that I couldn’t say no. It wasn’t a moral imperative, a sense of duty or even a twinge of genuine excitement. All it took was the following sentence:
“We watched your videos and we think you’re pretty funny.”
Vanity. Pride is the key to duping me into doing anything. If a stranger walked up to me tomorrow morning and said “Dave, I really believe that you are an excellent synchronized swimmer,” I’d be spending the rest of the week dog paddling in my bathtub. Sometimes, I just want someone to ‘tell me I’m pretty,’ in a metaphorical sense…or a literal sense. Fortunately for the organizer of my high school reunion, he unwittingly stumbled upon my greatest weakness. My greatest weakness is myself.
Now, I’m trapped. I can’t walk away from this obligation easily. The last thing I want to deal with at my reunion is a bunch of people coming up to me saying, “hey man, I heard you were going to do stand-up, but you were too much of a coward.” I had a nickname in high school, which happened to be ‘Mr. Coward.’ After I graduated from college, it became ‘Dr. Coward.’ If I ever move to England, I’m guessing people would start calling me ‘Sir Coward, Knight of the Realm.’ To be blunt, I have a bad reputation. I can’t willingly exacerbate what has become a truly debilitating problem. It was bad enough when I refused to leave my bedroom for six weeks after 9/11 because I was sure they “couldn’t draft me if they couldn’t see me.” It doesn’t need to get worse.
I really just have to do it. I must tell jokes. They just might be funny. I will be completely clean. I don’t want little Whitney going back to her mom and telling her that Dave Schilling has a potty mouth. I won’t say the ‘A-word,’ the ‘B-word,’ the ‘C-word’ or any of the other words. I might avoid all words with four letters just to be sure I don’t slip up.
There is also the possibility I could fail. I could be colossally unfunny. If so, I’ll be forever branded as a hack by my ex-classmates. Regardless of what I do on stage, I will be judged, because that’s what high school reunions are for. They’re not about getting back in touch with old friends or embracing the moist, warm bosom of nostalgia. They’re about judging people. You want to see who got fat, who went bald, who got ugly, who got pregnant and who was too cool to show up. Even in this age of constant internet surveillance, the power of in-person schadenfreude is still potent. It actually doesn’t matter what I say in my act, or how funny I am. Someone at my high school reunion is going to find a way to feel superior to me, and I will be sure to return the favor.
The only thing that truly matters is how I want to be judged. So, I guess I want to be judged as myself. Funny or not funny, coward or hero, I need to do this. It’s because I’m the guy who does things that sound really stupid, and then regrets them later. If there was a superlative for ‘Most Likely to Do Something Really Stupid and Later Tell His Therapist How Stupid He Was for Doing That Thing,’ I would have won without opposition. I’m sure there will be many decisions to regret at my reunion. Most of them will involve alcohol or married women. Doing stand-up will be the only one that involves artistic expression of any kind. I should be flattered, and I am.
Now, I just need to lose 20 pounds in 2 months and I’ll really be happy.
11:23 pm |
August 21 2012
| 1 note
SAMO: If Pizza Could Talk
Hey, it’s me. I don’t want to make things super weird here, but I have to get this off my chest. I’m well aware that you love me. You talk about me a lot, put my face on t-shirts, hats, and the like. Sometimes, I bet you even wake up in the middle of the night screaming my name. I used to be…
10:29 am |
July 16 2012
| 2 notes