In the quaint, historic town of Geneseo, NY, a mile or so from the small-but-mighty SUNY campus where I got my musical theatre B.A., there is a place called Jaycox Creek.
You won’t see Jaycox Creek unless you’re really looking for it. Try to Google map it. Go ahead, try. Even if you found it, you may wonder why you were looking in the first place.
The easiest place to see it is right on Route 390, next to the parking lot of a Pizza Hut. Two culvert pipes emerge from beneath the street, dispelling rainwater and God knows how much manure and pesticide runoff into a rather puny tributary that winds its way into an overgrown field, where it will ultimately meet the Genesee River. There’s a deep pool right beside the culvert pipe, expertly carved in favor of flood diversion. This little pool is home to swarms of dragonflies, schools of striped minnows, little green frogs, and even a few crayfish. Every now and then, a green or great blue heron will be poking around for a meal.
It’s not the most remarkable or beautiful spot upon first glance, but it serves its purpose. It’s a perfect, miniature world created half by nature and half by human design. But it doesn’t jump out at you. You have to look for it.
The Jaycox Creek EP is not a look-at-me album. It is not the flashy, commercialized venture I once expected my sophomore album to be. But every song serves a purpose...a purpose for me, and probably a different purpose for each of you who listen to it. It's not trying to "be" anything. It just IS.
In the years since I released my first album, I've devoted myself to the ancient-but-not-really art of musical theatre. The main thing I’ve learned from the theatre is that everything you perform has to have a purpose. Sometimes that purpose doesn't jump out at you. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper and look a little harder to figure out why you're presenting what you're presenting. Ironic as it sounds, it sometimes takes me a while to ‘get’ my own writing, to understand not only what it is, but why it’s there, why I wrote it, what I was really trying to convey.
If other people don’t get it right away, that’s fine. Just like Jaycox Creek, I’ll still be here when they do see it.