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Showing posts from February, 2015

Playtest Time! Fiasco - Reunion: Class of 1994

Thursday night, I gathered with 2 of my friends to run my first RPG session since last summer. When you're nearing 40, life gets so busy that it's hard to get into a new hobby that requires so much time in one sitting as an RPG session can. It's also hard to find people interested in playing an RPG if your current circle of friends isn't already into the hobby, and I've been itching for a couple months to play the Fiasco playset that I wrote back in November.

There were three of us.
Sam is a gamer.
Julie is not.
I wrote the playset.

We met at Denny's to play. Don't laugh.

If you're not familiar with Fiasco, it's a very improv-heavy roleplaying game that relies on storytelling and player collaboration. There's no game master, but one person generally facilitates, and since I was the only one that had experience with this game, I took the helm.

Dice are used, but mostly for character creation and scenario building, then used during the game to det…

"You're My Favorite" Isn't a Compliment for a Worship Leader

I love to worship God through music. I love leading people into worship, and then worshiping with them. But I don't love some of the comments I get about how I worship, or how my leading of congregational worship affects them.

(By the way, I discovered that if you spell "worshiping" with 2 p's, using the double-consonant rule you learned in grade school, Google Chrome suggests that maybe you meant "horsewhipped" instead. Just a little nugget for ya.)

As a performer, I have to balance my ego with my calling to lead people into worship. Yes, the performance matters because if the excellence isn't there, it can be a distraction. But the performance isn't the driving force when leading worship -- it's only a baseline, a foundation for us to concentrate on worshiping God through the song, and for others to more easily enter into worship with us.

Still, I pour everything I have into musical worship, especially from the stage. It's my M.O.

So whene…

The Back Burner Project Debuts Quietly in St. Louis

On my birthday last week, I did something I started last year. I performed in public.

When I turned 38, I performed in an improv comedy show with several people I used to work with at ComedySportz St. Louis and City Improv St. Louis. It was the first time I'd been on stage with some of those people in over 10 years, and it was exhilarating to be in the groove with them again.

Last week, I turned 39, and I had the performing bug again. I picked up my acoustic guitar and headed to Hartford Coffee Company in St. Louis, Missouri, and attended my very first Open Mic Night. Among the baby boomer generation representatives, I found a very welcoming, friendly atmosphere, and felt supported by everyone in attendance. Even without a pickup in my guitar, the music filled the place pretty nicely.

This was my first step into my new career as a performing musician, and it's a brief start, but it's an important step for me. My wife was kind enough to record the encounter.

Here are the re…