You Are Awesome

I am fortunate to sing in a chorus that often allows me brushes with celebrities from various entertainment spheres.


Here I am with Luciano Squasharotti at Tanglewood.
Click us to get your copy of Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller!

But one of the downsides is that, because we are sharing their Safe Zone backstage, we are not encouraged to go all Fangirl on the famous people. In fact, the audience members who wait outside the stage door for autographs and photos generally have a lot more interaction with the famous people than we do.

But you guys, one time Michael Schade sang with us.


This is a photo taken of my soul the moment I found out Michael Schade was going to sing with us.

Like possibly everyone in my chorus except me, you may not know who he is. That’s okay, I will tell you. He has the voice of a Canadian angel. His Mozart and Bach will make your ears bleed rainbows. I have admired him since I was in high school and he is my favorite tenor in all the universe.


…OK, second favorite tenor. SHUT UP GERARD WAY IS TOTALLY HOT.

So I decided protocol be damned, I was going to talk to Michael Schade. And it ended up being super easy — he was just hanging out in the hallway after the performance. I went right up to him. I opened my mouth. Then . . .

What do I say?

What could I possibly have to say to him, one of the great singers of the world? The moment grew longer as he waited for me to articulate something.


Like this, but a little more…apprehensive.

Finally, my brain scrambled together these three words: “You . . . are awesome.” I kind of whispered the word “awesome,” like a compliment ninja. He laughed and said thank you.


That story was to let you know what my brain thinks the Ultimate Super Best Champion Compliment is. So now, internet writer friends, you will understand the gravitas of my saying this to you:


Always say it with glitter graphics.

Did you guys all read that post by Jason Robert Brown about how he insulted Sondheim? It’s about what to say, and what not to say, when artists are at their most vulnerable. “Artists” being everyone from your roommate working fervently on that lint mosaic she knows will change the world to — well, to Freaking Stephen Sondheim. But Brown also touches on the need we all have for approval, no matter how successful we are by whatever random standard of success by which we’re being measured. So I officially give you, friend writer, my admiration and approval, as contained within the above bubble letters with bonus puffy star: YOU ARE AWESOME.

OK, right now, those of you who know me in meatspace are probably either a.) calling the police to report my disappearance/subsequent replacement with a cyborg who uses glitter graphics and positive thinking or b.) celebrating the fact that I am obviously dead and no longer have a terrifying stranglehold over you and your loved ones (see “cyborg who uses glitter graphics”).

And it’s true that I am rarely to be found in the “Everybody Gets a Ribbon” camp.


“I’m sorry, Susie, but this postmodernist nightmare of a finger painting is not ‘refrigerator material.'”

It is also true that I have a major deadline in two weeks and have been subsisting almost entirely on Red Bull and trail mix, which has blurred my sense of time and space. But friends, writers ARE awesome. We imagine things with our brains and make them into books. We do other jobs and still write. We face rejection and revision and remaindering and the voice that says You Are Not Awesome, and we persevere.

If writing were easy, everyone would do it. None of these things writers do are easy:

  • Read books
  • Write words 
  • Create people and places WITH OUR MINDS
  • Make readers feel feelings
  • Get feedback
  • Give feedback
  • Get ideas for stories
  • Send query letters
  • Revise
  • Read our work aloud

Here’s the advice bit. We should all do something on the above list every single day.

What’s an awesome writer thing you’ve done today? What should we add to the list? (It’s glitter, isn’t it? We should add glitter? Hang on, just let me get another Red Bull.)



Filed under Advice, Happiness, rejection and success, Writing and Life

26 responses to “You Are Awesome

  1. Great post. And thank you for the encouragement! Best of luck meeting your deadline.


  2. Adi, you are hilarious. Let me know if you need a local delivery of Red Bull. That counts as a writerly thing, doesn’t it? Or do I need to decorate the cans with glitter glue, too?


  3. Among many other things in this post, I love that you know to use “my” in the phrase “the gravitas of my saying” because of the gerundicular nature of the word “saying.” So–so far today I have written a very short piece of readers theater, I’ve invented what I believe to be a neologism, and I have complimented a fellow writer on her grammatical prowess. I AM awesome!


  4. Thanks, Adi. I think you are awesome too.


  5. Member when you were little and you pranced down the stairs saying: “I AM THE GREATEST STAH WHO EVAH WAH?” You ah.


  6. Whenever someone asks me how I am I say, “I’m awesome.” It gets a great reaction.

    I’m watching the clock on my own impending deadline, googling Spinal Tap references, rave drugs and making up super villain teams the likes of Quake & Furball. In the midst of this, you made me laugh out loud. At SBUX. You are responsible for the dirty looks, the people sidling away, and my possible removal by management.

    For that I say thanks, and you’re awesome too.


  7. Amy Rose

    I use the asterisk on my keyboard what is known in grammatical circles as “a scary amount”. I use them between sections when writing and I add them to punctuation whenEVER I FEEL LIKE IT. It is one way of strewing a writerly life with glitter.

    These are for you, Adi Rule*****!*!*!*!!***!****!!!!!!!!!


  8. Great post! I must say though, that people should only be able to have one major talent. And clearly you are cheating. So I propose that you have to give up either professional writing or professional singing, by … Wednesday. Thank you 😉

    PS YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! (I wish I knew how to make cyber glitter)

    PPS One day a fan will approach YOU and become utterly speechless. It might even be one of your favorite tenors 😉


    • Haha thanks! Well, I have two concerts this weekend, so you’ll have to give me until then to make a bloody sacrifice of my vocal folds in service to the Written Word. You know, I think Beethoven would approve. He was kinda intense.

      PS We should figure out how to get more glitter on this site. That “You Are Awesome” thing was originally animated. How cool would that have been??

      PPS Oh, the trials of being a writer . . . having to spend an hour looking at pictures of Gerard Way to find just the right one . . .


  9. I love this post, Adi! You ARE awesome, indeed. 🙂


  10. Joshua McCune

    What LAT said, except in my dark, YA terms… Adi, I love this fucking post. You are fucking awesome. There, I said it. Censor me if you must, but I speak truths.


  11. Great post! Thanks for making me feel awesome today!


  12. Stteve Bumgarner

    So Michael Schade is like the Gordon Lightfoot of Canadian tenors, eh? Awesome, dude!


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