Amsterdam, The Netherlands On the Nature of Trilogies

Part threes are tricky.

With part twos you’re saying, “Hey, part one worked out pretty well. I’m going to do it again and see if folks are still interested.”

With part threes you’re saying, “I think I’ve really got something here. I can keep doing this over and over and people won’t get tired of it.” And of course, that’s when things tend to fall apart.

So we have the trilogy; a discrete narrative framework. A closed loop. Its expiration pre-ordained, so as to assure the audience that it won’t go on indefinitely and become a nuisance.

It’s fairly reliable that most ideas will run their course by the second regurgitation. And a concept as sparse as mine certainly runs that risk.

The dancing videos weren’t conceived as a trilogy. Of course, they weren’t really conceived at all. But it feels to me now like there’s one more worth doing, and then I should be done.

I keep coming back to the Evil Dead trilogy. The first movie was a lark. The second Evil Dead was actually just a remake of the first only better and with more money. By the third, they’d run out of things to do with a cabin in the woods. It was a continuation, but different in tone and genre. That seems like the right course for me. I need to get out of the cabin.

Getting ready to leave on a long trip is the hardest part for me. When it comes time to put your regular life into hibernation, there are a thousand little things to do. But I have a feeble man-brain that can only hold one or two thoughts at a time. For every new task that pops into my head, one of the old ones falls out the back.

I think I took care of pretty much all the big stuff. To do that, I had to spend a whole day staring at my living room floor, putzing around for a little bit, then more staring, putzing, staring again, putzing, more staring.

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I’m carrying a lot of baggage this time. Fifty-three pounds. I think the most I’ve ever taken was fifty-five, but that included a bag of dive gear, and I won’t be doing any diving in Africa. This time, I didn’t hold back much with the packing cause I sort of figured I need the exercise.

We’re taking a fancy, high-definition videocamera. It stores everything on a 30GB hard drive and then burns off onto DVDs. That’s going to be fun to play around with.

I brought a portable Canon photo printer. It’s the same one I took to Africa three years ago. It provided me with one of the best times I had on that whole trip. I spent a morning wandering through a village on the shores of Lake Victoria, taking pictures of every kid I came across. I went back to the hotel for lunch, printed all the pictures out, then spent the afternoon tracking down all the kids and handing them their photos. It caused a huge scene – the kids went bonkers – but it was a lot of fun. And once I’d done that, the whole town opened up to me. Everyone wanted photos of themselves.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to doing that again – maybe in Ethiopia this time.

Maybe Timbuktu.

I’m on a plane to Amsterdam right now for a quick stop on the way to Africa.

Stocked up on puzzle books at the newsstand.

Well, hello there, sponsor!

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Melissa and I spent the morning running the last couple errands. We said goodbye to her dog, Sydney.

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Syd’s been through this before. She knew what was going on and she wasn’t having any of it. She tore out the door and tried to jump in the car.

Sad.

We’re only gone for a month, though. This isn’t the extended epic of last time. We’re zipping through eight countries from the top of Africa to the bottom, then back home for a breather, and off again to Europe for the month of June. And so on and so on, but right now I’m just focused on trip number one.

I’m on the plane right now, just coming out of the North Atlantic and over Scotland. In a few hours we’re going to the Dutch tulip fields to shoot the first clip. I missed tulip season last year, so I timed this visit to synch up.

After that, we’re going to a bridge in Amsterdam where we’ve invited a bunch of people to meet up and dance with me. It’ll be an interesting experience, and I’m sure we’ll learn a lot. I don’t know what to expect. It’s a bit scary opening the door so wide to a bunch of strangers, but I’m putting my faith in the fundamental goodness and all that.

We’ll see how it goes.

Oh, by the way, the outtakes music is finally available on iTunes. It took a month longer than it was supposed to to finally get up there, and then once they did get it up, they named it wrong, so instead of searching for "dancing outtakes" you have to search for "dance outtakes". In any case, for the handful of people diligent enough to track it down, it can now be purchased.

The money doesn’t go to me. It goes where it belongs; to the composer, Garry Schyman. So throw him a bone and download it. It’s only a dollar.

14 Responses to Amsterdam, The Netherlands On the Nature of Trilogies

  1. Glenn Chamberlain

    Hey man I hope you have a great trip. And don’t worry about your fans becoming tired with what you have going on. I mean I know theres only so many countries you can go and such but you do it so well lol.

  2. Candace Kowal

    Best of luck to you Matt!

    Please take care!

    Also, I totally agree with Janet and Debra on this one 😉

  3. Catherine

    Sounds pretty fan-flippin-tastic.

    No offense to the marriage well-wishers, but there’s a strange phenomenon where once you’ve been with someone for more than… a week, you can’t travel anywhere together without everyone asking if you’re going to get engaged whilst away. Power to you if it’s in your plans. But yeesh – sometimes a hella awesome trip is just a hella awesome trip. :)

    Have an excellent time. Let your visas be in order, your accommodations have hot water, your hiking shoes provide unfailing arch support, and may there be an inexpensive delectable food stall around every corner.

  4. Margaret

    You’re a lucky man to travel and have someone else pay for it, just enjoy it! It’s not great art, just fun. Sometimes simplicity is thought provoking. I recently came across your dancing videos on You Tube and was really touched by them. Such beautiful music. As a child I traveled a lot since my dad worked for an oil company, but not anymore. Your video reminded me how small our planet is. You offer an opportunity for people to realize we’re all more alike than different. I wish all young Americans could visit other countries to see how fortunate we are and how easy we have it. You should keep dancing as long as you can.
    Good luck on your trip!

  5. Rich

    Did you really post this April 1? How did I miss it?!?!

    Anyway, I hope your trip is going well. How about all those fans getting you in trouble with Melissa like that?! You can’t do it now, even if you were planning to… It won’t be a surprise. It would be as if you were bullied into proposing. :p

    I’m excited for you. It’s almost like I’m leaving. ha ha

    Rich

  6. moe

    Matt,

    Have a supertacular time on your new adventures! I’ll be tuning in again for all the new stories. I get what you mean with the trilogies, but I think in your case you’re safe. You’re outta the cabin already. Soo glad to hear your out and about again.

    Been a super old-time reader, not big commenter though (like Rich and them) but do really appreciate you sharing this all with us who aren’t traveling with you, but are always there in mind.

    Best,
    Emily

  7. Anna Tjernström

    Best of luck :) hope our whole trip goes well and is safe :).
    Also i gotta tell you, i noticed your soundtrack one day from the tv. And you are actully in a commercial for a Swedish flying company ”Ving”, did you know this?

  8. Matt vs. Mat

    There were about 10 Freddy Kruger and Jason movies until finally they had to face each other.

    I figure Matt has about 6-7 more of these then he has to have a showdown with Mat Lower from the Today show while hes doing his yearly trip around the world.

    Spitwads at 50 paces on the Great Wall I say.

    It will be better than Alien vs Predator for certain.

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