Thanks for being patient. If anyone was actually out there waiting for my next blog post.
I listened to Kanye West - Last Call on repeat this week. It helped me refocus, so naturally I tweeted about it. Surprisingly it resonated with a lot of people. It's not viral status but those are some good numbers. So I thought maybe I'd elaborate more on this and how I've resolved some internal conflict. Hope it helps or at least gets you listening to some Kanye.
There are many exceptional lines in this song but my favorite part right now is this
Last year shoppin my demo, I was tryin' to shine
Every motherfucker told me that I couldn't rhyme
Now I could let these dream killers kill my self-esteem
Or use my arrogance as the steam to power my dreams
I use it as my gas, so they say that I'm gassed
But without it I'd be last, so I ought to laugh
I've never been outwardly confident or shown the bravado and conviction like Kanye. I tend to stay quiet which funny enough has been mistaken for confidence a few times. Another outcome is I waffle to avoid awkward disagreement which sucks because I lie to two people, myself and the other person.
So part 1 of this piece is me understanding that some level of confidence and conviction in yourself is valuable. The next part is I've questioned myself several times this week.
What am I doing? Can I be more than one thing? Do I have a right to do this? Will society accept that? I haven't touched my cameras all week am I still a photographer? Was I ever one? My script bombed, am I writer? Am I even funny? I've made zero films, am I a filmmaker? Can I be a performer too?
I came across 2 videos that helped me understand how to approach this sudden internal attack much more productively.
Halfway in Keegan shares an anecdote from grad school.
I said to my professor, "Oh I want to be in Hamlet really bad and I want to play Horatio."
My professor says to me, "Why Horatio?"
I'm like, "Well he's his best friend, I feel like that's who I am. I'm the best friend guy, I'm the good time guy that everybody likes"
And he goes but, "Why couldn't you play Hamlet?"
And I go "I don't know".
"But why? Why are you? Why are you not? You're getting the same training all these other actors are. You're handsome."
"What? No I'm the funny guy shut up."
"No no you're handsome and you're vibrant and you could play the lead in a play especially the most important play in Western civilization, you could play Hamlet."
I wanted to punch him. Stop fucking with my mythos. I want to know. I don't want to push beyond my comfort zone. I want to stay here. I'm Horatio. I'm the fifth lead in the play.
"I don't think you're the fifth lead in the play. I think you can play Hamlet."
He wouldn't shut up kept on talking about, "Why can't you play Hamlet? Why can't you play Hamlet?"
And you know that's another story I had just made up in my mind I'm never gonna be as good as these other people and so that it's okay that I don't get the lead and now it's fine it's fine if I don't get the lead.
This resonated deeply with me. Maybe its because I was also raised Catholic and indoctrinated with the idea that I should think badly of myself to stay humble. The meek shall inherit the earth and all that.
YouTube's algorithm then delivered another video which just took things to another level. I think Vince and Keegan would have an interesting conversation. Honestly the whole thing is worth watching but here are a few of my favorite lines below.
I think that's a great thing for anyone out there, you know allowing yourself to say, I'm curious about this and then you have to kind of give yourself permission and figure it out.
To me even it's less about the results, although we all like results. It's more you know having the courage to listen to that whisper why am I curious to explore this. I'm looking all around for someone to give me permission to explore something and then you say no I'm just gonna start building it and doing it and you always come on the other side of that realizing you had so much more control or power or value then you felt at the time.
So any sort of getting out there and storytelling or putting something together I think is valuable you know you're you're learning and experimenting and playing around and more time spent on that I think ultimately leads to you know, more say in your existence and more confidence in resolving your existence.
I've been throwing this phrase around a lot but it sounds like Vince is essentially saying "trust the process". I've got to accept where I am now so I can work towards where I want to be. And funny enough the act of writing this blog post feels like I've freed myself from this creative paralysis slump.
EDIT: Came across this in my timeline a few minutes after sharing and honestly could not be better timing.