Tuesday 15 March 2011

Artistic Maturity

You start out knowing who you are and what you want. And then you realise it's more complicated than that so you start adapting yourself and changing your plans and figuring out how to 'market' yourself.

Artistic maturity is when you go back to how you started: you become yourself.

I had lunch with three friends today. We're all still young but we've been at this a long time. One of the group always had the crazy unrealistic dream of acting on the West End stage. Now she does. She never allowed herself another choice.

One of the other friends used to worry about what his 'type' was, and what genre suits him. But today at lunch, in a short break from a show he's touring, he told me about a one man play he wants to produce, about a politician who fascinates him. There were no worries about whether it was a good career move or whether it was a logical thing to do -- he just followed his instincts. And it was great. We sat and brainstormed ideas for an hour and we could well be co-writing something.

The third friend, she had those battles with her agent that all actors have. It's the one where an agent tries to shove you down a certain path because that's where the roles are. Or more truthfully, that's where the agent's comfort zones are. But my friend said no. The agent wanted her to do some play that paid well but wasn't interesting. My friend said no, stayed in London, and landed a role on prime time TV.

And as we had lunch today; it was great to have that feeling; that we're all doing what we want to be doing. And it's not that difficult, you just decide to do it.

Because when someone says 'you have to write horror, it's the only thing I can sell' -- if you don't love horror, then you're strangling yourself as a writer. And if you want to be acting on screen in London and your agent tries to make you do a play in Ireland for six months -- you have to weigh up what counts, figure out who you really are.

Because most people I've met are bending to try and fit into the industry. But they all fail and they're smashing their head against the walls and complaining about how nothing is happening.

People forget to be themselves. Sure, you can try reinvent yourself and be something you're not, but how real is it? Is it a part of your true personality or are you trying desperately to be noticed? You don't wanna be like Meg Ryan in that boxing movie.

So, my friends are doing good. They're focusing on what they want to do. It's better than thumping your head against a wall.

Care to share?


  1. i appreciate your optimism. i wish you and your friends continued good fortune.

  2. I love yours blogs they let me know that there are other passionate writers out there, and it makes me want to be as great as you some day, my first novel is a mess and i know that the genre i am going into is not popular, but you don't do it because of money or fame, and if you are you should realize that art, is for the passionate dreamers who just love what they do and can not think of ever doing anything else, your success makes me realize that a writer, or film maker, or really any type of artist can make it in the "real world" and i thank you, keep blogging please.