It always seem that whenever I try to be remotely productive, I don’t get anywhere. I really wanted to start on writing my speech, like an actual speech, about a month before Night of the Notables. That, however, was indescribably ambitious when I noticed that I have minimal research and knowledge on my person. An excuse it might be but now it has come the time where I finally started writing the speech, a week before eminent night. Great planning right? Well its the thought that counted.

So I had many ideas about what my speech was going to be like, tone, meaning, emotion. Also, I debated between many ways to start my speech, which after many drafts, the most unlikely of my choices became my final decision. In addition, through the course of my drafts, I changed the content and details of the speech dramatically. Though, in the end, I believe that I was able to come up with something I am quite proud of.

Here is my first draft, really just ideas and momentary thoughts.

“Do, you have the time, to listen to me whine, about my life and everything about it?”

Every single interview I ever got I answered questions about my life but not really, they never want to know about what my life is. All I get asked is weird questions that makes it almost feel like an interrogation, and they just want to hear what they want, not what is really to be said. Half the world didn’t know I recorded and practiced for 5 years in a garage I rented down the street of a cemetery. I was rejected by the home that raised me into who I am. GIlman Street looked down on my music though it was there where it matured and I owe my success to them. But I guess we all have to grow up. I hated it. If I could I’d stay 12 forever.That idea have followed me for so long.

Here’s some more parts and possible follow-ups to the first sentence.

Actually, even though there’s a bunch of sorrow and tragedies throughout my short life, I find my life to be pretty good. I’ve never really said that anything I’ve been through have been bad specifically. Yeah, they’ve impacted me, but I’m still here, I’ve made it through, and did some pretty amazing stuff along the way.

Well maybe not everything, there’s a lot of things I want to say. People look at my life and find it so simple, so generic. I was a kid born in the 70’s grew up listening to punk and became a punk rocker myself, and rebelled and dropped out of school and all that. And I was born in California if that makes me look more stereotypical. Though if that’s all you’re interested in then I have nothing more to say, because my life was all but simple.

Here, in a second draft, I tried for a more aggressive, edgy, and rebellious tone. Something closer to what Billie himself would’ve said.

“Do, you have the time, to listen to me whine, about my life and all the shit about it?”

Well I guess I can’t actually whine about it. I don’t usually since it wasn’t bad. I mean I’ve been through so much amazing stuff that I really can’t say that I’ve had it bad. Sure I was born in a town where a wall without graffiti was all but real, though I guess that’s just what made me into who I am.

Actually, I wouldn’t say that my life was shit. Not at all. Yes I lived a stereotypical life, with stereotypical stuff. I was a rebel kid, my dad died, I lived on the streets not because I couldn’t live in a home cause I just choose to. I lived in an age where punk was dying but I lived through it. I was nurtured by it and it became my life.

As you might have noticed, the content of the few are all quite similar, its just the wording and sentencing that’s changed. I wanted more for a tone that was recognizable and unique than really push a lot of detail, since that would just make my life harder in those two minutes.

Here is another attempt at a fresh start, though I found my state of mind was really still the same, which I didn’t quite fine fitting as a speech.

“Do, you have the time, to listen to me whine, about my life and everything about it?”

In all honesty my life looked pretty simple from the surface. In a sense it was. If you look at me now and what the things I’ve done you can tell that everything was pretty stereotypical of the time. I grew up in the age where doing nothing but getting through it all was every young man’s job. That was me. Also being in a band wasn’t uncommon as well.

So here is a draft that I wrote closer to the date of presentation. I tried for a completely new tone and created new content for it. I think this one had much better flow.

“Do, you have the time, to listen to me whine, about my life and everything about it?”

Well maybe I shouldn’t say whine since it wasn’t all that bad. It was pretty simple and typical of that time as well. Like I grew up with music, like so many others. I left school and just started living out on my own with a few friends which was nothing special. Though I wasn’t afraid of any of that, like I barely thought about it and it was just about pushing and going forward in life. I was really young when all this happened too like 17 or something. That was when Green Day was basically created, and I just went along with it. I didn’t know it was going to become this big. I just went along with it, but I did it my own way. In the music industry then and there you were looked down as soon as you became mainstream. Though if that’s the path that is in front of me then I took it. I left my little hometown and all that behind and just started touring and stuff. And all the music I came up with, it was all just like a reflection of what I was doing at the time. People ask me whether Green Day was a weed reference, and yeah definitely it is, since that was what was a part of my life, and I wasn’t afraid to show that, I mean that was what I did all my life. American Idiot was born on the fact I was done with all that shit with government and stuff, and I just said it. I was expressing what I had to say, and looked at the world the way I chose to. I mean I think that’s why I got so far. I didn’t want to stick to what we saw to be correct and what we saw to be right. Because honestly, I don’t want to be an American Idiot.

I would say the ending is very abrupt and disconnected though I didn’t want to expand on an idea too much and make my speech overly long.

So, unlike last year, I didn’t have enough time to post this early and let others edit it online, though I was able to get my classmates help and suggestions in person that did add to my speech. Otherwise, by taking the pros of each draft and using a different format and tone of speech, I wrote this version, which is what I believe will become my final copy and the one I shall present on the night of. Wish me luck.

Final Draft:

I have probably stepped onto a stage like this one more times than I have said my own name. But every time it was different, every-time it’s new, and that’s what keeps it interesting. It’s fun to not know what’s next, where I really can’t predict where I’ll end up. Like not knowing the outcome but still doing it because it is what I want to try and attemptYes, I have been told that I am childish, and naïve for being like that. It’s gotten me pretty far. I’m pretty special that way I’ll admit. I kind of enjoy that I’m misunderstood  most of the time. It’s fine. When I first began my career in music, I was in the same line with so many people that I didn’t look at it as a way to be famous. I left school and my home  and family and just lived wherever because that was the way it is. I didn’t really try to best anyone or be the new pop icon, I just wanted to do something, and also do nothing, but still play music the way I enjoyed it. Something I was always told when I was younger, while still performing at Gilman Street was never go mainstream or never go big, or don’t make a hit single because it was corrupt. That was kind of was a norm at the time. I respected that for a while until I saw that you don’t have to give in to make good music. Like  in Green Day, I just wrote about my own anxieties and tried a lot of new things, acoustic stuff, orchestras, violins I mean it wasn’t a formula for success necessarily but it was what I wanted to attempt. It was risky but it made the writing and performing process much more pleasing. That’s all I did really, to just do what I wanted, and not really try to just satisfy whoever is listening to what I made. I wasn’t going at it just to become the next big thing, I just wanted to make a message at times, and other times write about what I’ve been through, without all that crap becoming so sappy. My career really has been relating to myself, and then relating to the world around me, but in the end it’s just trying and experimenting, and learning to try new things. Making mistakes is a lot more fun then not doing anything. In the end, there’s nothing wrong with being a loser, it just depends on how good you are at it

Final  Draft 2:

I have probably stepped onto a stage like this one more times than I have said my own name. But every time it was different, everytime its new, and that’s what keeps it interesting. It’s fun to not know what’s next, where I really can’t predict where I’ll end up, though still trying and attempting.

I have been told that I am childish, and naïve for being like that. I sort of enjoy the fact that I’m misunderstood. It’s fine. Being who I want has gotten me pretty far and I’m pretty unique that way I’ll admit.

When I first began my career in music, I was in the same line with so many people that I didn’t look at it as a way to be famous. I left school and my home  and family and just lived wherever because that was the way it is. I didn’t really try to best anyone or be the new pop icon, I just wanted to do something, and also do nothing, but still play music the way I enjoyed it.

Something I was always told when I was younger, while still performing at Gilman Street was never go mainstream or never go big, or don’t make a hit single because it was corrupt. That was kind of was a norm at the time. I respected that for a while until I saw that you don’t have to give in to make good music. Like in Green Day, I just wrote about my own anxieties and tried a lot of new things, acoustic stuff, orchestras, violins I mean it wasn’t a formula for success necessarily but it was what I wanted to attempt.

It was risky but it made the process so much better. That’s all I did really, to just do what I wanted, and not really try to just satisfy whoever is listening to what I made. I wanted to make a message at times, and other times write about what I’ve been through, without all that crap making my look so self-centered and all. My career really has been relating to myself, and then trying to let others see the world around me and what I see, but in the end it’s just experimenting making mistakes, it’s way more fun that way. Making mistakes is a lot more fun then not doing anything. In the end, there’s nothing wrong with being a loser, it just depends on how good you are at it

Final Copy (presentation):

 

I have probably stepped onto a stage like this one more times than I have said my own name. But every time it was different, every-time it’s new, and that’s what keeps it interesting. One day I’ll be singing about insomnia and another day I’ll sing about flipping off Nixon in American Idiot. It’s fun to not know what’s next, when I really can’t predict where I’ll end up. I have been told that I am childish, and naïve for being like that. I sort of enjoy the fact that I’m misunderstood. It’s fine. It’s gotten me pretty far from where I started.

When I first began my career in music, we weren’t even Green Day at the time, I was in the same line with so many people that I didn’t look at it as a way to be famous. It wasn’t allowed if you performed at Gilman Street, like I did for so long. But I noticed they couldn’t really let me try new things. I didn’t later go mainstream just to be known, I wanted to change things up, play around with the music. I was rejected by the people who built me up so I guess I gave up that, but I just saw it as a new opportunity.

It was risky but it made the process so much better. That’s all I did really, to just do what I wanted, and not really try to just satisfy whoever is listening to what I made. I wanted to make a message at times, and other times write about what I’ve been through, without all that crap making my look so self-centered and all. My career really has been relating to myself, and then trying to let others see the world around me and what I see, but in the end I just experimenting making mistakes, it’s way more fun that way. Making mistakes is a lot more fun than not doing anything. In the end, there’s nothing wrong with being a loser, it just depends on how good you are at it.