10.14.2010

...and then I was a pro.



I've long joked that when one reaches some mysterious level of success in a creative pursuit, they're contractually obligated by the forces that Be to never discuss how they "made it." There's always some sort of discussion in interviews and panels that follows the basic formula of:

Q: So what was your first break?

A: Well, after years of struggling, I blah blah blah, and then I sold [whatever].


Usually the blah blah blah is just that. It often never even really answers the question, even if the question is much more specific than the one I used above. Now, this isn't shocking. It's probably because the struggle that everyone goes through isn't that interesting unless you're in it. It's unpleasant, it's hard, and it's kind of like listening to other people's dreams. Who cares?

Not to mention these people know exactly who the audience is for such interviews and panel discussions. It's akin to preaching to the choir. We know it's hard. So basically it's narrative summarizing:


Beginning bit/anecdote + bridge = The Big League


The Big League draws all the focus. So the bridge so be fast and succinct. But, of course, everyone who's in The Struggle, is really interested in The Struggle. How dow I manage it? How do I get out of it? But we gloss over it. Which I've never understood. So that's why these people, I can only assume, often use the ubiquitous:


"... and then I was pro."


Which is why I love -- LOVE -- The Days of Yore.

This blog, which as I understand was started by some creative writing MFA students from Columbia University, is focused on The Struggle. It interviews writers, painters, actors, etc. -- anyone they can get to interview -- and focuses on the hard times, the lean times, and the struggle to keep with it.

It's addictive, fascinating, and kind of like Doritos. You can't read just one. I've run through the whole site pretty fast.

Now, it's probably pretty divisive. Some people might equate it to swallowing mouthfuls of dry saltines. But if you're interested in the arts, if you write, if you dabble in découpage, if you live for the pottery wheel and kiln, if you've ever tinkered with acting, the saxophone, or if you went to circus school -- this is for you.

Unless you're a pro. Then you're probably contractually obligated to stay at least 25 electro-feet away from this gold mine of woe, wonder, weary-do.


ps. If you know any writers, actors, painters -- whatever -- who would be interested in participating and being interviewed so these guys can keep this thing going, you can find their contact info here. I'm in no way involved in this blog, despite the fawning tone of this post, I just love reading it and don't want to have to stop. I'd also love to see a TV writer interviewed. Hint, hint.

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