Wednesday, January 2, 2013
...And now, for the reveal
I have a confession to make. Rachel is not my real name.
At this point, a fair number of my readers might be rolling their eyes and thinking, "So what? It's not like my real name is robstenforever69." And others might be wondering why I'd bother to create a pseudonym in the first place. The world of classic film blogging is not exactly a den of dark secrets and false identities (Except if you stumble across the Rudolph Valentino fanbase--those guys don't mess around). You'll have to bear with me since as small as this confession seems on the surface, it's an important decision for me.
Back in September 2009, I had it in mind to start a blog about the classic movies I loved. Few of my friends or family shared my interest and I wanted an outlet, a place that actually cared more about Cary Grant than Adam Sandler. A place where I could let off steam.
So I did what a lot of aspiring bloggers did. I snapped up a blog, gave myself a name that was unlikely to lead back to my offline self, toyed with what to write, and ended up writing nothing at all. My life got busy, I got distracted, and the blog was stillborn.
But then, over a year later, I ventured back to The Girl with the White Parasol. Life had slowed down again and I was feeling at loose ends. I felt I had nothing to lose by going back. So I posted a review of I Walked with a Zombie. Then I wrote a little more. And more. I started commenting on other people's blogs as "Rachel," trading jokes back and forth. I got a few followers. There's a great freedom that comes to writing when you can say to yourself, "This is just for fun." The only standard was my own. If I made typos or made stupid puns or wrote something that flopped, who cared? And if I ever did go on to write something professionally, at least I wouldn't be haunted by anything from my silly blog.
I feel that once you put your name to something, it becomes a responsibility. It means you're willing to risk something. And you know what? I've had this blog for years. I have over a hundred followers now (Thank you guys, for that wonderfully timed Christmas present). I've met brilliant people who've changed the way I think about film and art. I've read the saga of Penelope Trunk and her own travails with writing under a pseudonym. I've talked about this blog with friends and family and coworkers who've all told me, with varying degrees of puzzlement, "Why don't you ever let people see it?" They're right. I think my blog is worth a little risk. In the long run, I want my blog to be something that made me a better writer, a deeper thinker, and a happier person. And I'm tired of putting another name to something that I'm proud of.
My name is Aubyn Eli. I'm called Aubyn. It rhymes with "robin." I'll be putting it to my posts from now on.
And what does this dramatic reveal mean for my blog? Not much. I'll still be the same person. I'll still blog about old movies. I'll still believe in Alfred Hitchcock, Barbara Stanwyck, Technicolor, Edith Head, Humphrey Bogart, the obvious superiority of Sunset Boulevard over All About Eve, and the importance of a good exit line. I'll still love The Magnificent Seven more than The Seven Samurai. And I'll still keep looking for the girl with the white parasol.
Thanks for the support you've given me all this time, guys. If I can still get away with toasting the new year, here's to a happy 2013!