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PARKING PARTNERS

What are your traces?

 

In anticipation of the arrival of Traces on October 1, artistic engagement manager Kevin Becerra takes a moment to consider the legacies we leave behind. 

If you disappeared tomorrow, what traces would you leave behind? Whether it’s your impact on loved ones, your children, or your accomplishments in your career—your legacy is created by a complex combination of your decisions and actions while on Earth. It’s an interesting thought. But what about the legacy you unknowingly leave behind? What evidence of your existence could rise from the depths of the past and create a different narrative of your life?

How often do you google yourself? I personally am not a huge fan of it. I find of a lot of the results that come up for my name to be a series of previous employers or a parade of other Latino men whose parents had some affinity for Irish first names. I was feeling quite confident that my online traces were exactly what I expected them to be—the worst of it being years of documentation of an unfortunate haircut safely hidden behind the “friends only” setting on Facebook. My sense of security shattered when the little voice of memory in the back of my brain whispered the name of my first online obsession. My Livejournal.

For those of you who missed the Livejournal craze—it was essentially a blog-based social media site where users would write blurbs about their daily lives. Then the user would read through their friends’ posts, much like a Facebook newsfeed without photos, videos, or Buzzfeed articles. I got mine at the mature and levelheaded age of fourteen—and for the next three years I poured my teenage soul into it for the enjoyment of my friends. Much to my chagrin, my Livejournal is alive and well in the dark corners of the internet. Exhibit A:

LiveJournal

There’s so much going on here. The questionable colors. The questionable spacing. The unquestionable avatar of Gary Beach in the 2005 revival of La Cage Aux Folles. Go ahead and also note that it was posted at 7:14 am—one of the many posts updated on the computer in the kitchen before I left the house for school. It’s a lot to handle and a lot to own up to. This collection of insights and egregious typos is one of my traces—for better or worse. While I find it completely mortifying, it’s a part of me and who am I to deny the joy of a newly 15 year-old me?

Take this opportunity to think back through your online presence and share you traces with us! We’re all friends here! What traces of you exist on the internet that you would want to erase or memorialize? The cast of Traces will risk everything as they share their death-defying acrobatics for the sake of us, their audience. What will you risk leaving behind on this blog? We can’t wait to see.

 

16 Comments

  1. I did a video about five years ago, wearing blue tinted glasses with long hair, and in it I’m just blah blah blah blahing…I sometimes wish I could escape the trace of this video.

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  2. Umm so freshman year one of my best friends was youtube famous. So lets just say things got weird…………there are many many more too…..unfortunately

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  3. Lovely memories from my undergrad years. I was part of a short movie called “La Bromita”, a story about teenage love. A very happy and cute story that will make you smile. I think we all need stories like this once in a while 🙂 I’m excited about leaving this trace!

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  4. Just hit the BACK arrow on your friend’s Profile Pictures, and you’re sure to find some traces that are best left in the past. Here’s one of my bad ones that surfaced over the summer:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=17544988574&l=e6c188ff69

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  5. Emma Baar-BittmanSeptember 12, 2014 at 9:28 am

    I may have taken my pop punk VERY seriously. http://www.amazon.com/review/RYMWC94UDM10C

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  6. Rebecca FrankSeptember 12, 2014 at 10:03 am

    When I do a Google search for my name, I end up wading through cat photos (my own), various people’s social media accounts, and references to a certain girl’s diary, but I eventually find two articles that are beloved traces of myself. The first – https://www.mtholyoke.edu/offices/comm/vista/9709/4.html – is an article from a Mount Holyoke College alumnae newsletter. The second – https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/theatre/production_history – is the production history for the Mount Holyoke theatre department. They memorialize my focus on theatre and my endeavors on the creative side of our nutty work. I love being reminded that I, too, was once going to be a performer or a famous woman director and it keeps me in touch with the artists I work with every day.

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  7. I’m very proud of this Trace. I created this video with my comedy partner Emily Holland, produced under our duo name “Clarence”. We used photo booth effects and lip synced along with the song playing on her computer. Pretty low budget, but I think you’ll all agree you’d never know. I hope that my great great grandchildren will someday find this video and be as proud as I was to make it.

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  8. From my senior year in high school, I am proud to present one of my more colorful memories. As a proud student pursuing visual media arts and also enjoying freedom within the acting world, my creative endeavors of that time have left me with this gem in the form of a music video to the Bee Gees ‘Staying Alive’. This Trace will forever be imprinted in my mind and history.
    Because I have come to realize that in the end, we’re all just “Stayin’ Alive”.

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  9. My friends and I used to make short movie trailers for the Brattle Trailer Treats Smackdown every summer — oh those are moments that shouldn’t be memorialized on the internet! The one I was in was for a movie title “Ten”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AJK-ggmz3k&list=UUNQ_SDSwTr0HqeiRPunb-2Q

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  10. Apparently, in 1998, I had some pretty strong opinions about the movie Titanic and more specifically, about a certain Leonardo DiCaprio. So much so that I wrote a letter to the Chicago Tribune. This a trace I only discovered recently, an it’s a gem (scroll down): http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-03-15/news/9803150447_1_movie-letters-cottages

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  11. Erica BlumrosenSeptember 12, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Apparently one of the first photos to come up when you google me is me in my underwear while reading a book on the subway. I think this might be the most amusing trace that I’m currently leaving on the internet. Please note that 18-year-old me liked to coordinate the books she read with her outfits.
    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/erica-blumrosen-reads-while-participating-in-the-annual-no-news-photo/136577854

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  12. I usually try to avoid having my image online (being part of the witness protection program and all) but here’s a video where I had to play the straight man for my goofy staff. I’m a much better comedian.

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  13. There are few advantages to being of a certain age, but one of them has to be that most of my embarrassing moments happened before there was an internet. So, you are not going to find that picture of me from a certain department store’s catalog, modeling Haynes’ briefs and t’s. And you’re not going to easily find my turn on “All My Children” as The Mexican Room Service Waiter. (My one line of dialogue in that scene was “You’re dinner, Senor”.) That particular turn still wrankles, as I’d originally been cast Mexican Matador and was going to be sent to Mexico City with the show to film a few days of flirtation with Erica. (I still don’t know where I got the gumption to think this was going to be OK for me to do…) Budget cuts meant a change of venue, and in the end I was just on a NY studio set pushing a room service cart with a fake “Mexican” mustache and a bad “Mexican” accent. I had lived in Mexico. I had a real Mexican accent if they’d have let me use it.

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  14. Corey RuzicanoSeptember 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    If you ever thought the world only had room enough for one Lady Gaga…you may have been wrong.

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  15. Someone in my hometown (Knoxville, TN) decided it would be a good idea to let teenagers write their own section of the newspaper that would be distributed on a weird weekday like Tuesdays. I took to reviewing books, movies, and music. All had to be reasonably teen-friendly, so I wasn’t allowed to review R-rated movies for example and had to provide parental advisory content. There are glowing reviews of a Fall Out Boy album and the Mamma Mia! movie, but nothing tops my review of the first Twilight film: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/my-kid-my-school/review-twilight

    #stillhaunted

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