the urge to begin this post with, “i’m constantly reminded…” was very high. except this lesson does not visit me often. it’s presence, when clear and salient enough to penetrate my rote programming is always profound and always short lived.
this morning i woke up and the same onerous stench of responsibility and obligation was already knawing at my heels: yesterday’s treatment. i’m aware enough to know the immense value of pre-production–really ANY kind of preparation in general isn’t up for debate. every mentor, idol, shit…every experience i’ve had regarding the matter confirms the truth that proper preparation is at the core of nearly every good outcome. and yet, my eyes roll at the idea. i REAAAAALLLY didn’t want to do it for a number of reasons, the loudest being that it forces me to enter a zone of creativity and hard work without any of the immediate gratification that i enjoy. to be specific whenever I DP or assist on any project I’m afforded the privilege of syncing with the lead creative on the project, enhancing their vision, bringing my energy to the set, adding my touch to the work itself, and walking away. there’s no organizational component. no contract negotiations. any calibration, planning, or coordination is very close to the action. don’t get me wrong– i LOVE a good brainstorming session–shooting ideas back and forth. etching and brushing away the soot, debris, and junk until we get at the core of an idea. volleying concepts back and forth until some sweet creative gem is realized. none of that feel like work to me. in fact, the brainstorming phase is one of the most gratifying stages. stretching, reaching, collaborating until something really moving finally unfurls. then on the day of execution, we go out and try to capture the beast knowing along the way that we too will be shaped by the pursuit. it’s fucking awesome.
but there’s another stage. one i usually slink past and do my best to avoid: pre-production. the prep work after the idea has been identified. the intense labor that occurs after the nugget is discovered and right before we all break camp and leave homebase to begin the hunt. all the arranging, coordinating, and vital planning required to makes sure we don’t show up to battle without any arrows and eight different ideas about how we’re going to slay the beast.
so i avoid it. and as a result this severely handicaps my range of creative expression. taking the path of least resistance always does. in my heart i just want to: roll on set, rehearse the game plan, shoot, then leap. but now i have goggins’ voice in my head. chase. zeus. the slew of mentors who are staring at me–this potential in stasis. floating. lollygagging.
their voices.. my passion–they’re all behind me. even with their support my hand hesitates to turn the knob and walk through the door. we all want that. we’re all waiting. i’m dying for it. but they can’t do it for me. they can’t want it for me. and the requirement to pass beneath that archway is discomfort. bravery. a different choice. leaning into resistance. i’ve always known inside suffering, pain, and discomfort is growth. fulfillment and ease are rarely ever aligned.
this morning while talking to zoo i expressed my disdain towards my impending obligation. i understood it’s necessity. the benefits. but the only desire i had was to show up to shoot. to play. and at some point it became clear these are the same reasons i’ve been resistant to building a business around freelance. why i’ve been so slow to experiment. because all of that requires so much more than just showing up in stage 3 or 4 of the creative process. and even if i did design a life that allowed me to be free of all the tasks i find “eh” (e.g securing the client, negotiating the deal, all the work around pre-production, the coordination of all the moving people, parts, and ideas that need to happen before d-day)–would that be fulfilling? shying away from growth…leaving all that potential on the table. choosing to leave the entire journey and the untold story of my evolution to die in some parallel dimension of “maybe” simply due to laziness and addiction to the path of least resistance…
so i pushed. i forged ahead. i struggled for a few hours.. and moments before the deadline materialized, blocks of clay finally fell away and in their wake i saw the vision i’d brainstormed prior typed out before me. staring right back at me on my monitor was the sculpture i’d been working on. and though it was a total bitch to summon at the end of the process…somehow…i enjoyed it. there was a sense of pride. after our meeting the artist was over the moon. our previous brainstorming sessions were now in written form and now all the various forces that will soon join us now have a plan of action and something to rally around. something i found totally loathsome only hours before had begun to worm and burrow it’s way into my heart.
the perspective that i once held. that i “didn’t enjoy this phase in the creative process.” that it wasn’t in alignment with my nature.. all of that was simply no longer true. just like that. in a moment… my perspective shifted.
so how much of my life am i leaving on the table? there are so many mountains that have been successful in dissuading me to even ATTEMPT ascending.
fear. resistance. any rationale for laziness or tithes to deities of the path of least resistance will no longer be paid. instead these will all serve as beacons. flares in my mind that this is the way forward. so long as my personal core values aren’t called into question–I will chase down that which i dream about but am too scared, “inexperienced”, or lazy to approach. that means you freelance. and all 1001 creative endeavors on the horizon that require more SO much more than just “showing up and shooting.” all of you will be mine. this life will not only be good. it won’t just be fun. it will continue to be dark, harsh, drenched in struggle and very very fulfilling.
love you universe
[late for 1/12/18, published on 1/13/18 0115]