They Got That Big Statue of Paul Bunyan Up There, You Betcha

I’ve been blogging here at this website of mine for a little over three months now. And for all the fun I’ve had opining on all manner of topics – and hopefully, for all the fun you’ve had reading me as I yammer on – it’s worth remembering that there is a professional reason for all of this. In the world we live in now, an artist’s presence online is as important to their career as their actual artistic work, if not more so. Casting directors attempt to gauge our box office draw by counting the number of our Facebook friends and Twitter followers; potential collaborators and employers Google our names to get a sense of who we are and what we can do. And thus, one of the things this website is meant to do is boost my presence on the Internet. Enter the name “Michael C. O’Day” into Google, and hopefully, the accounts of my artistic triumphs will fill the screen.

To test this, I just did a Google search of my own name. The results were not exactly what I’d hoped for. As of Sunday evening, May the 22nd, the first entry which comes up when you Google my name does indeed pertain to me – it’s a link to my Twitter account. (Which, if you don’t already, you’re welcome to follow – it’s @michaelcoday.) But the second entry that comes up – the second entry, right at the top of the screen – is also a Twitter account. The account of an entirely different person who happens to share the name “Michael C. O’Day.”

A chiropractor. From Brainerd, Minnesota.

Now, I do realize that it’s not impossible for other people to share my name. It seems that half of the men with my last name have a first name of “Michael,” and it stands to reason that a percentage of them would have the same middle initial as well. (At least two percent, I reckon.) But this name has been mine for as long as I can remember; I’ve had it since birth. Since my father has the same first name as I do (told you half of us were named Michael), I’ve used my middle initial to claim my own identity as far back as kindergarten. All the work I’ve done since – creative, academic, administrative – has been done in that name, to build that identity. I’m loath to share it with anybody.

And with a chiropractor?! Yes, sure, it’s a noble profession, and proper alignment is certainly something I appreciate as a performer. But I’ve written plays! Produced in New York and everything! I’ve performed with award winning companies and gone on wacky adventures! Once a week, I put out witty essays about the artistic life of between 500 and 1000 words in length! Am I to meekly accept the aggregate judgment of the Internet, that all of these pale in importance to a chiropractic practice in the Upper Midwest?

I am not prepared to do that, and must therefore ask a favor of all of you, Gentle Readers. Please share this post, far and wide. Share as many of these posts as you like. Click on the links contained in this site to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. Sound my barbaric yawp throughout cyberspace, so that my artistic life and work is what people think of when they hear the name of Michael C. O’Day.

Unless you live in Brainerd and have a slipped disc. Then you should probably talk to the other guy.

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