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Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Struggle

There are people with talent who spend every day perfecting their art. There are others who have huge talent but disregard it completely.

How do you become one or the other?

What makes one person value artistic integrity and the other take the money regardless of such matters?

Life is about happiness, right? What if you create crap junk films but are happy? Is that better or worse than being an indie artist who is struggling and poor?

That's what baffles people, when a woman quits her safe accounting job and becomes a waitress so that she can act. The odds are she'll fail.

Well she'll fail if she wants to get rich or be in big movies.

But maybe that's okay?

It's about if she's happy, right?

I value artistic vision, integrity, honesty. But what difference will it make when I'm 93 and peeing on the floor?

If you're creative and miserable, are you living the right life?

I say this because so many people in the industry are depressed and self-loathing and lacking in confidence. You get that in all walks of life, but in this industry, you're going against societal norms. Against the 9-5.

The rejection in film is horrid. As a director, my rejections are usually monetal. No-one wants to invest because it's too risky. They need names attached, clear plot points, clear genres. The other rejection comes as criticism. You spend two years making a movie and then some newspaper or internet guy writes about how you're talentless and not worthy of living.

For actors, it's constant rejection. Everyone knows actors get rejected but they don't know the toll it takes. An actor's job during a project is to bare their soul and in between projects their job is to protect it from crumbling.

The big thing is the uncertainty. When is the next pay cheque? When will they call back? When will I ever get a role?

Everyone is running around pitching ideas confidently in coffee houses and spreading their mediocre films on Facebook, but how are they feeling really?

Hardly anyone earns money at this. No-one knows how next month will pan out. And you might miss your best friend's wedding if you get the role in the movie.

This post is not about much of anything, but is just to say that I know a huge amount of people working extremely hard at this and nobody ever really sees it. I just want to give voice to the artists who are out there navigating through the complexities of living a creative life.

Care to share?


  1. I like your voice, Kid. See, this is why--whether or not you're ever rich and famous--when you're 93 and peeing on the floor you'll be doing so with integrity. ;)

  2. I get what you're saying and appreciate it.

    I worked in a 'normal' workforce for 16 years. I've seen so many people (myself included) throw all of their energy and time into their normal work the same way creative people are dedicated to their art just to be passed over for promotions, have their position eliminated, or be forced to sit at a meeting where the people in charge pay an outside consultant to say the words: You are only worth your last paycheck.

    I just think what you're saying applies to everyone, everyone that cares about their work at least.