That itch…

I tried writing this blog entry a few times, and always delete it when finished.   I’ve been wrestling with the question of who I am now, and where I want to be.  Maybe it’s because I’m marking another birthday or maybe it’s just my existential part of me screwing with my psyche.  My interests and my passions have not changed, but as I grow older the energy I have is a bit more precious.  I have other things I want to do and some of them are not in the filmmaking arena.  So when I say I’m a filmmaker I wince a bit.  I’m a bit more then that, and this dance I do is exhausting at times yet there is always that urge to create or to tell a story.

So yeah if you’re a filmmaker, writer or musician you’ll get that itch to do another song, film, or novel.  It is inevitable, but as you grow older you’ll interests will wane and at other times you’re energy will be divided among other things.  Life is complex and sometimes there doesn’t seem enough time in the day to do what you want.  Today’s society really is a lot different then it was 20 or 30 years ago, and before you say “oh God it’s one of those posts” let me assure you I’ll try not to be the old man on the porch yelling at the kids on the lawn.

What I mean is that there are so many distractions in the world now.  One of these distractions is social media and this thing we call the Internet.   I say to myself I’m doing things, and yet am I?  Blogging, posting photographs, and twitting seem counter-productive  Or are we just hamsters running on a wheel in our cages?  I sometimes feel that all this noise around us could be tampered down, and even ignored and it would all be for the better.

Doing things because you like to do them is probably the best reason in doing them, but if you’re trying to seek fame maybe you’re not doing it for the right reason.  The old saying: “you want to make God laugh, make plans” is so very true.  Social media makes us all have a voice.  That’s the illusion.  We’re all special, yet there are so many voices out there that we seem to be drowning ourselves out.  There is so much content out there on the Internet that a lot is never seen or heard.  I am amazed how sometimes I find some really interesting information, music, or even art by people that are inspiring.  It’s a good feeling when you find out that you too are not the only one who thinks, or feels the way you do.

In today’s society if you really want to be heard and want to make a film there is little to stop you.  The tools are all out there, and it is not too difficult to make new music, post videos,  movies, and/or publish.

We’re in an era where making content is all that you need to get attention  There is a plethora of content some interesting and others not very.  What did Andy Warhol say that in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.   Maybe we should change that to 10 minutes because on the Internet there is always something new every 5 to ten minutes.  The 24 hour news cycle has conditioned us to be always on.  throughout the day we are bombarded with ads, commercials, music videos, and how-to videos 24/7 which I’m afraid only feeds our anxieties.

Those anxieties can hold us back and make us doubt ourselves.   For some of us it’s never the right moment.  Its not the right time, the right equipment or the right people.   How many of you have said when I get more money, or when I get better equipment, or when I find that special actor or actress then I’ll do it.  I hate to say this but they’re all excuses.  Do what you can now and worry about it later.  As an artist you grow, and one grows by learning from your successes and mistakes, and I guarantee you you’ll make more mistakes then success.  It’s our fears of our mistakes that hinder us.  By learning from those mistakes you become a better human being, and a better artist.  Can I just plainly say it: “mistakes makes you a better human being”.  I fail at things.   I’ll admit that right here, but I try and learn from those mistakes, and try not to repeat them.

So why take advice by someone like myself?  Certainly I have not reached the pinnacle of the moviemaking world.   Picasso painted in obscurity throughout his career, but he did what he loved and his works endure today, and are very sought after.  I am in no way comparing myself to Picasso, but only using him as an example.  There are many ways to measure success in life.  You should not define success by how many likes you get, or how much your work is shared.   Having a family is a real plus, and when I mean family I don’t mean it to be the traditional family we are conditioned to see in the media.  Families can consist of friends, and family.  Having that support group can certainly ground you.  It’s not always about yourself.  I learned that many years ago.  I have seen many people doing their own thing, and finding success in that.  I will in another post try to direct you to others doing their own thing.   I try to enjoy what I do.  It isn’t easy and the work, home, career balance is a tricky one.

Long ago someone said to me that it’s all about the work, and I sort of agree with that.  It’s also about what you leave behind.  Family, friends, and colleagues are just as important then the stuff you create.  In fact they are much more important in life then you think they are.  Believe me making great music or making that stunning film won’t give you satisfaction unless you get to share it with the ones you love.  Life is way to short and maybe you succeed or maybe you don’t, but the one thing I can say is that they’ll be no better joy then joy that is shared.

Now what about that itch?  That instinct or urge to create?  I can tell you that it always is there especially if your the artistic type, but things happen, and sometimes maybe you just want to watch sunsets or hold your lover’s hand, and maybe just play with the kids.  It’s all good, and worthwhile.   Don’t compare yourself to others.  Be your own person, and don’t let that blinding ambition blind you to the joys of life.  The joys are many, and it is a very short life to begin with.  Don’t waste it.  The journey is just as important as the destination.  Okay that’s my two cents now go have some fun.