It has taken me ten years to come to this conclusion. I haven’t had decent mentors in my life. I’ve been alone in ways I’m still unpacking. I haven’t had the tools to seek them out and I’m not as lucky as I’d like. I’ve ended up here because I’m a fool, an idiot, a hopeful kid with a hole inside him that I’ve tried to fill by giving everything away for free. I’ve got executive dysfunction and autism, a trail of ex-lovers and imploded ambitions, and a lot of sadness and anger. I like to think I’m wise and complicated; turns out I’m just another asshole.
I’ve been told I’m stupid for trying to create a board game that is also a band that is also a lifestyle brand that is also a cryptocurrency experiment. They are...correct. That’s so overthought and ridiculous that it would never work. In most ways it hasn’t. “Anthromancer is my board game,” I’ll tell people, with the caveat, “but actually that’s just the name of the product. The board game has a different name.” What are people supposed to do with that? That doesn’t fucking mean anything.
It’s me. I’m Anthromancer. I’m an entertainer who is trying to figure out what series of symbols I have to slap on my marketing materials to get people to care that I exist. I thought I’d figured it out once before; I thought going viral for making pancake art would open the door to being recognized as special. There was that recognition, for a time...but it was superficial. People didn’t really see me, my craft, my intention, they didn’t really transform through experience the way I wanted them to. My wound has festered in the parasocial slime of modern discourse; the transactional and hollow game of social media that makes me feel happy if number go up and sad if not. I don’t know how to kill that part of me. Maybe I need to eat more mushrooms.
At any rate, I won’t be satisfied just sitting in an office somewhere developing game rules. I want to be in front of people, impressing them, teaching them, making them laugh and smile. I want to be on stage every day. I want to connect with people, to play music for them and to dance and be danced with. It’s the only thing I care about.
Realizing this healed something in me.
It’s funny. I mentioned to my lovers, “Hey, I think I’m Anthromancer,” and they replied, “...duh?” Like everyone but me already understood this. It’s hard to explain why it feels like such an epiphany. I think I’d been suckered into the notion that there was a ‘right way’ to go about marketing my board game, and was unconsciously convinced that I’d do it wrong. I composed copy from the third person, never speaking as Anthromancer, always creating this critical distance. Anthromancer was this thing I was doing, and it was important to maintain the distinction.
I think that perspective was disempowering me. If Anthromancer is a thing I am doing, then it’s like a weight that my outstretched arms must lift into the air. But if I mend that bifurcation and step into the alter-ego that I’ve indirectly generated...there’s nothing to lift. All I need to do to breathe life into this brand is...breathe.
I’m just...me. Being me. Singing and dancing and making pancakes. Rapping in purple sunglasses. Connecting and reading oracle for strangers. So that’s it, then.
My name is Anthromancer. It’s nice to meet you.