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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Monday (10/25/10) 7:57pm - ... wherein Peter would have never guessed he'd live in Texas.

This is a somewhat lengthy reply to a question from Chris O. Biddle....

5. Why Austin? How did that happen?

Lessee... when I graduated from South Oldham High School, I applied to a bunch of colleges.  Now, as it turned out, my parents made a fair amount of money, but they were fairly awful at managing it.  This meant that, with most places, I didn't get financial aid, but I wasn't rich enough to go there.

Rice was pretty much the only college that looked good to me that I could actually afford.  Plus -- wow, I just remembered this, and it's so embarrassing -- I recall that an attractive-sounding student called me at some point to talk up the school.  But mainly it was the best of what I could afford.  So:  no MIT or Northwestern for me.

So that's how I wound up in Texas, to start with.  And as I got ready to graduate from Rice, I interviewed in a bunch of places from Austin, so I wound up getting flown out there a couple of times.

Then I blew all of them off and moved to Boston.  But I got tired of Boston.  I hated the relentless cold, and I never made any friends there.  I loved the Esplanade; I loved being able to walk/subway everywhere; I loved the museums.  But it was just brutally lonely in that city, and the weather was miserable.

So in 1999 I started researching cities to move to, with an emphasis on wanting a lot of cultural stuff-to-do, and a lot of sunlight.  Austin kept turning up as the best city for those qualities.  I was also reading Ain't It Cool News online, and it talked about film activity in Austin, and showings at the mysterious "Alamo Drafthouse".

Eventually I pulled the ripcord and went back to Austin to interview again with NI.  They *had* offered me a job just out of college, and they were willing to talk to me a second time.  They offered me a job and paid for my move, and I arrived in town on April Fool's day of 2000.

And here I've stayed.

I guess I have roots now.  For being almost autistically introverted, I've built up a surprisingly large network of friends here.  And there's sort of an infrastructure here for getting artistic stuff done -- earlier this year I wrote a radio-serial script, and some people I knew at the local art college made it a class recording project, and I brought in a passel of actor friends to record it.  Basically, I've got networks and resources here that I would be loath to lose.

Really, the only things I mind are that (1) I gave up the chance of moving to LA and being a working screenwriter, and (2) it's just so brutally hot here in the summers.  But the latter is bearable with air conditioning, and the former is bearable with the knowledge that almost nobody makes a living writing scripts.  *shrug*

So I stay in Austin, and I get to live this crazy little life with a day job, and artsy pursuits, troops of friends, and occasional, unbearable heat.  It suits me well.

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[User Picture]
From:fraeuleinchen
Date:Friday (11/26/10) 10:55am

occasional, unbearable heat

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I ended up rereading this post today, because you linked to it in a post yesterday or so... and aside from being reminded that we both came here from the Boston area, something else struck me - your comment about the weather. Seems the weather here suits you well, if you consider the unbearable heat to be occasional! I find it to be too hot at least half the year. But then, I *am* bearing it, so I suppose I'm exaggerating to claim that it's unbearable at all, perhaps. :-)
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