A Late Bloomer’s Animated Musical Rocks!

A Late Bloomer’s Animated Musical Rocks!

posted in: Artists | 26

A few weekends ago, while running updates on the blog, I clandestinely watched an episode of the Green Lantern animated series that was mesmerizing my husband.

Green Lantern—Hal Jordan, Sinestro, that oath: “In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight…”

All I could think was, “How the heck did they tell a perfect story with beginning, middle, end, and sympathetic characters in 22 minutes?” Not to mention the eye-catching animation.

I last experienced comics, before I met my husband, on the Long Beach Press-Telegram’s Sunday pages circa 1972.

But you can’t call yourself a storyteller and remain a snob to this powerful medium and its evolution. (I include graphic novels here.)

That’s why Chris Edgar’s animated musical project, Steve’s Quest, fascinates me. I thought, animation and a complete soundtrack? That sounds like a lot of work.

For Chris, “labor of love” doesn’t begin to describe it. His past lives include speaker, author, personal coach, and Stanford-trained attorney.

But his passion is music and Steve’s Quest embodies that. He wrote the story and the songs. It’s part superhero tale and part rock opera.

Steve’s Quest follows Steve, a young software engineer who struggles with work, love, and getting a science fiction novel published.

He has finished a draft of a cyberpunk-themed story, The Chronicles of Gain, Part 1: Under a Plastichrome Sky. But he hasn’t worked up the nerve to send out his manuscript, not least because his domineering mother keeps telling him to focus on his “real job,” and give up his pipe dream.

But, Chris writes, “there are deeper questions at play in Steve’s Quest as well, like what it means to grow up, and what manhood is about, in today’s culture. And there’s a liberal dollop of silliness too.”

I wish Chris Edgar great success with this, his own late-blooming creative quest.Here’s the first episode of Steve’s Quest (it’s under eight minutes and it’s amazing).

So, can you relate? Do you want to know what happens to Steve?

  • To follow Steve’s Quest on Facebook, click here.
  • To read how Chris and his production team collaborated long-distance, click here.

26 Responses

  1. Chris Edgar
    | Reply

    Wow, this is an honor — thanks Debra! That’s definitely true — my biggest passion has always been music, and that’s always made it difficult for me to fully stomach all the other career-type things I’ve tried to do with my life. 🙂 Finally, I decided it was time to acknowledge what was most deeply true for me, and one of my hopes for this project is that it inspires the audience to do the same. I know your writings here have that sort of effect for me — whenever I find myself fretting that “I should have done this ten years ago” or something like that (which happens far less these days for me than it used to), I read one of the bios on this site and that gives me a sense of perspective and patience. I’m grateful for the work you do here.

    • Debra Eve | @DebraEve
      |

      Thanks Chris, I’ve really appreciated your support here. What I said is completely true — it’s a fascinating, audacious, and original project. And, of course, it’s a message everyone needs to hear. I hope you get syndication somewhere! Looking forward to the next installment.

  2. Lindsay Edmunds
    | Reply

    I thought as I watched, if Steve’s mom raised him to do something for love, she did pretty well — if not on purpose. You don’t regret those glorious quests.

    • Debra Eve | @DebraEve
      |

      Lindsay, I love your insights. Interestingly, I recently came to that conclusion about my own life. I rebelled into my quest, and I’m okay with that now.

    • Chris Edgar
      |

      Exactly — I for one know, if I’ll only be true, to this glorious quest, that my heart will lie peaceful and calm, when I’m laid to my rest. Did I get your meaning? 🙂

  3. Dave Leggett
    | Reply

    Great blog post Baby!
    I really enjoyed watching Steve’s Quest – great soundtrack too. I’ve also “liked” it on Facebook and want to know what happens next.
    Well done Chris!
    The great thing about it for me was relating to having the passion for something (in my case playing the bass guitar) and despite being told by well meaning family members/bosses/colleagues etc to stay “focused in the real world” (whatever that is) we can’t. We are driven by our passion and our dreams that no matter how many obstacles are placed before us, our desire to do what we love pushes past those things and keeps our pursuit of our goals and dreams alive.

    • Debra Eve | @DebraEve
      |

      Thanks for commenting, baby! I thought you’d like this one. And what I said is absolutely true. You’ve opened my mind to this wonderful form of storytelling, so I can appreciate something like Steve’s Quest. So true, what you’ve said about keeping our dreams alive. XXOO

    • Dave Leggett
      |

      Not at all Baby! I’m so glad that you like the storytelling based on comic books. I have been a fan myself since 1972 and loved the whole concept of being able to “disappear” into the story almost like I was there able to be in this fantastic world for a little while and forget about all the every day stuff around me for just a little while. I particularly loved Stan Lee’s stories in the Marvel Universe because the heroes were flawed characters and the good guys did not always win and had their own problems just like everybody else; it made it so much easier to relate to. That’s what I loved about the Green Lantern Animated series you mentioned in your blog – it was great storytelling where he sometimes screwed up, but there were also twists and turns in it that you couldn’t see coming. I was very disappointed they cancelled the show after the first season, but I thought it was great while it lasted.
      Looking forward to reading your next blog post.

      Keep up the great work.

      X X X

    • Chris Edgar
      |

      Thanks Dave! I can definitely relate to what you say about the conflict between the desire to put everything you’ve got into music and the perceived need to stay in the “real world.” I think I was lucky in the sense that life in the “real world” never really “worked” for me — I never reached a point where I became satisfied with or invested in a particular identity (the “high-powered lawyer” one, for example). The desires my colleagues would share with me about getting a bigger house or more expensive car never really resonated with me. I feel like I never really left music, even though I spent a number of years not doing much of it — I wonder if you had a similar experience.

    • Dave Leggett
      |

      Hi Chris,
      Yes. I can definitely relate to what you said. I realized at 17 that I wanted to play bass and my dream was to do that full time. Due to what I thought at the time as parental discouragement, I abandoned these dreams and desires to concentrate on a corporate career and try to scale the ladder and make my parents proud. Looking back on all of this (I was young, impressionable and had no confidence or self belief), I realized that my parents meant well and that they wanted me to do well for myself if I was given an opportunity to go up the ranks in a corporation that looked after it’s staff, paid well, gave a pension and was basically “a job for life”.
      I tried it their way for several years. I’d sold my gear, started to work at getting promotions; but all the time, that passion for playing the bass never left me.

      After a few years, I met my first wife. We bought a house together and I got a couple more promotions which helped with the mortgage payments.

      One thing I have to say about my ex was she encouraged me to buy some gear and get out and play again. This was back in 1991 and I haven’t stopped since.
      I was trying to balance music and work, but the more serious I became about bands and gigs, the less it impressed some of my bosses who wanted me to be there in body, mind and soul for the company. I could not relate to the day job in the same way as a lot of the other employees who seemed to just live for the job.
      To me, it was a way to pay the bills and get out there and do the thing I love most – playing music with bands.

      Eventually all of of this took it’s toll – my marriage broke up and I ended up leaving the job after almost 18 years to study bass at Musicians Institute – a dream I’d had since the mid 1980’s!

      Since then, I’ve been really fortunate with the way things have worked out; meeting Debra, graduating from Musicians Institute, working at Musicians Institute, gigging with a lot of bands etc.

      However, I wouldn’t trade any of the experience or obstacles I had to overcome to get here – it took a long time, but I learned so much from all of the experiences (good and bad) I had over the last 30 years, that it gives me full appreciation of everything I have been given.
      I’ve tried certain things and realized that some of them don’t work for me; a good one being that earning more money does not make me happier; it’s about the quality of life in being able to work in an environment I can relate to and at the end of the day, leave the office and go out and play gigs or be at home with Debra and our cats and not get the feeling of being tied to the day job. Less money, but less stress to which is worth a lot to me.
      Looking forward to seeing your next episode of Steve’s Quest – it’s very cool!

      All The Best

      Dave

  4. Florence Fois
    | Reply

    Debra, I can very much relate and want to know what happens to Steve. Thanks so much. This is another example of what happens when we finally give in to our deepest passions and follow a path set by our soul and not our external needs 🙂

    • Debra Eve | @DebraEve
      |

      Glad you enjoyed it, Florence!

    • Chris Edgar
      |

      Hi Florence — yes, I can definitely say for certain that this project was not driven by my external needs and will not result in the satisfaction of any of them! 🙂 But it’s definitely been a ton of fun.

  5. Marcia Richards
    | Reply

    Love this post, Debra! The video was great and I do want to find out what happens to Steve. Great job, Chris! I know a man who has followed his passions for music, graphic arts and works in those fields as a freelancer. Not a ‘traditional’ job. He’s not making a fortune or getting noticed by record labels or busy day and night creating art for others to use in their businesses but he’s happy and lives the way he chooses. The workplace scene is changing. Alternative means to making a living and pursuing passions need to be accepted and not criticized. It can be a far healthier and happier way to live. I hope Steve doesn’t let his mother squelch his dream. Looking forward to the next installment. I think I’ve found a new interest – musical animation!

    • Debra Eve | @DebraEve
      |

      Thanks, Marcia. It’s always heartening to hear stories like your friends. I thought the musical animation idea was innovative too!

    • Chris Edgar
      |

      Hi Marcia — thanks, I’m glad you liked it. Yes, I can relate to that story about the guy who is living the way he chooses — my goal has been to steadily move closer toward that goal. I love the fact that work that would traditionally require going into an office is now becoming doable at home — I do virtually all of my money-making activities from home, except I have a conference space where I meet with people in person when necessary. Maybe that’s because companies don’t want to pay for overhead, but that’s fine by me.

  6. Karen McFarland
    | Reply

    Wow Debra, what a fantastic post! When reading this and the comments below, I was so impressed with the passion that Chris displayed, let alone the privilege of reading your hubby’s comments. Even though this post was about Chris, in which case I am very taken back by how much he’s sacrificed for his art, your hubby Dave also admits that seeking more in like doesn’t always make us happier. We just have more stuff to take care of. Time sucking stuff that robs us of inner peace and true contentment within ourselves and what fulfills us. Awesome insight into a true artist. Thanks so much Debra and Chris and Dave!

    • Debra Eve | @DebraEve
      |

      Thanks Karen! Yes, it was so fun having Dave interact on the blog. Music is close to his heart, so I knew he’d like this. Wrangling the time-sucking stuff, as you’ve noted, is difficult, but the only way to clear our path.

  7. lyle @ From 50 On
    | Reply

    Hey Chris and Debra…

    I gotta say that normally I am not a fan of musicals…even though I am a working musician and all (go figure!). However, I really did enjoy this episode and really loved the music…especially the guitar tracks (given that I am a guitarist this should come as no surprise)!

    Having said all that, there have been a few instances where I’ve really enjoyed the telling of a story in musical numbers. Buffy The Vampire Slayer had an episode where it was pretty much wall to wall songs and there was an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold where the story was interpreted via song. And of course I loved the movie “Phantom of the Paradise” way back in the day!

    So, all that to say, and pardon the rambling, I really liked this effort and I hope it takes off and is enjoyed by millions…or at least thousands 🙂

    Thanks Chris and all the best in your endeavors. And thanks Debra for bringing our attention to Chris and his project.

    All the best to you both and take care.

    Lyle

    • Debra Eve | @DebraEve
      |

      I haven’t seen the Buffy episode, but several people have mentioned it as something that shouldn’t have worked, but did. Haven’t heard of the Batman episode. Will have to ask my husband. He’s a big Batman geek. I hope this takes off for Chris, too. It’s a lot of work, but an extremely original idea with a message people need to hear. Thanks for stopping by, Lyle!

    • lyle @ From 50 On
      |

      Thanks Debra…and just for the record…I’m a big Batman geek as well 🙂

      The Buffy episode btw is titled “One more with feeling” and is just great!

      Take care and all the best.

      Lyle

    • Debra Eve | @DebraEve
      |

      I haven’t seen the Buffy episode, but several people have mentioned it as something that shouldn’t have worked, but did. Haven’t heard of the Batman episode. Will have to ask my husband. He’s a big Batman geek. I hope this takes off for Chris, too. It’s a lot of work, but an extremely original idea with a message people need to hear. Thanks for stopping by, Lyle!

    • Chris Edgar
      |

      Thanks Lyle, I’m really glad you enjoyed the episode. The “Once More With Feeling” Buffy episode and Dr. Horrible are definitely big inspirations for me. My ultimate goal is to be on a panel at Comic-Con talking about Steve’s Quest, with Joss Whedon on a panel in the next room. And then of course he comes over to tell us how awesome the show is. I’ve got to dream, right?

      I didn’t know there was a Batman musical — I’ll definitely check it out!

    • lyle @ From 50 On
      |

      Hey Chris…if one needs to dream big, then having Joss as a fan is big enough!!

      The Batman musical is part of the Brave and Bold animated series, which to me is by far the best animated and story telling of the Batman animated franchise! And speaking of Dr. Horrible, here’s a link where Niel Patrick Harris lends his vocal talents in the Batman musical: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHY9USNC_Fk

      My apologies Debra for hijacking the comment section!

      Take care and all the best.

      Lyle

    • Debra Eve | @DebraEve
      |

      I love when someone hijacks the comments! I was just asking my husband if knew of the musical Batman, but he didn’t (shocked me). Thanks for the link!

    • lyle @ From 50 On
      |

      Ya learn something new every day 🙂

      Hope your husband likes it 🙂

      And he should really like this new Batman video: http://youtu.be/IFwOS2R9o_8

      Take care and all the best.

      Lyle

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