Friday 29 March 2013

Success Ingredient: Time and Knowledge

Time will undoubtedly pass. In the two weeks just gone, how much have you written? How much have you read? How many movies have you seen? How many ideas have you put into action?

I was talking to someone last night whose Dad is a much loved film actor. And this weird thing happens when people make it big; everyone assumes they were always doing well, always the lucky ones. They think Brad Pitt was born as Brad Pitt the movie star, they have no inkling as to the amount of work that goes into a career.

If you're 20 and waiting to be discovered, forget about it. Whether you get discovered or not isn't the point -- the point is to get great at what you do.

You don't need to protect a reputation you haven't built yet. You don't need damage control when nobody cares about you anyway. Your job isn't to build an image of perfect movie star potential, your job is to make shit movies, to desperately need the work, to fight endlessly for the tiny pieces of progression.

Knowledge and experience count for everything. 

You're meant to make shit films that you share on Facebook. You're allowed to perform plays in dives to empty chairs. Paying your dues isn't some abstract concept, it's the heart of this industry. If you haven't got footage out there you're deeply embarrassed about, then you're not really an actor or director. 

If you're complaining on Facebook that nobody wants to pay you to act or write, you're just not at that level yet. You could bitch on Twitter, OR you could develop your own comedy character, write five pages and read an autobiography of someone who has been there and done it. 

And sure, you say you've done all this and still you're not where you want to be. Well you're  just not there yet! If you want steady progression, work in a supermarket, they have a fast-track programme to make you a manager in six months. Or if you want to earn money, work in finance!

Talent alone is not enough. X Factor and The Voice are selling you a false idea. I was working with kids in school recently, and they kept asking me, "how do I get famous?" They  thought that was the ideal. But I know famous people. The thing they hate most about their lives is that they're famous - because they can't buy a can of beans with being approached, harassed, scrutinised.

All of the best artists struggled. For years. Everyone I meet, including the people I interview on this site, they went through piles of dogshit to get to where they are.

Of course it will get you down. You'll get depressed and lose your creative juice. Why do you think I didn't blog for three months?

But you get back up, stronger and more knowledgeable than ever before.

This is a tough industry, but you win out in the end through knowledge mixed with enthusiasm and, of course, longevity. 

Care to share?

1 comment:

  1. Kid, I like you, because of posts like this one. No more to comment. You said it, there is nothing else...