Create your balance. Design your life.

Musing #39: Why make art? Why do anything? (Shower Thought)

NOTE: It has been a Sisyphean task to stay focused on this writing. My heart and soul have spent all day gleefully gallivanting in a galaxy far, far away. That teaser is tremendous. It reduces me to tears, unfailingly.


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Tomorrow, dear readers, I am going to fail.

And that’s OK.

For tomorrow, dear readers, I’m shooting a very short film (we’re talking, half the length of a one-reel) that I wrote and am both acting in and directing. I have near-complete faith that it will prove an unwatchable turd. But I know for certain that, even in failure, I cannot lose.

How’s that?

Because even if it sucks, I will have done it.

“Man in the Arena,” and all that bully sort of thing.

This very short film amounts really to just a scene; one that should theoretically be situated toward the end of a long cinematic journey into the hell of alcoholism. It has a beginning, middle and end, so it does stand alone. But I’ve, nevertheless, been agonizing over the potential “WTF?” factor.

“WTF?” you ask.

Permit me to explain.

Immediately before every one of the last several weeks’ rehearsals, I found myself lost in epic musings whilst showering. Most of these daydreams eventually morphed into paralyzing self-doubt panic attacks. And the worst of those mid-ablution freakouts pertained to the arguable pointlessness of this very short film.

LITTLE ME to LATHERED, NAKED SELF: “What the hell are you trying to say with this thing? Nothing original. So why the hell are you saying it?”

RodinThinkerKansasCity1B“That LITTLE ME poses excellent questions. I think I like her.”

Fortunately, my co-star helped SELF realize that she always knew how to answer ME.

(Yeah, the pronoun manipulation really ceased to work at some point, there. Sorry.)

I know not from whence it came, but this itty-bitty baby film gestated in my gut until it finally burst unstoppably forth, John Hurt-style.

“Baby mine, don’t you cry.”

This immaculate conception also explains how I ended up with a feature screenplay, having never set out to write anything of the sort. I was a screenwriting virgin and happily expected to die one. But when a movie I’d never seen began randomly playing in my head during a 2009 shower daydream, I mysteriously found myself writing down what I saw. Involuntarily.

And thus, a screenwriter was deflowered.

That screenplay willed itself into being. And it continues to insist unrelentingly on its own existence, bless its heart. I was and am but a humble, eternally grateful conduit. For lo and behold, 5.5 years after said fateful shower, that screenplay turns out to be my very raison d’être.

Who’d have thought it? Certainly, not I. Life is strange.

But, I digress. When the above-referenced co-star arrived for rehearsal the day of the above-referenced worst meltdown, I shared my concern as to the arguable pointlessness of the exercise. And I found myself rhetorically asking him/myself: “Why make art?”

CO-STAR (without missing a beat): “Why do anything?”

Touché, co-star. Well said. Thank you.

(By the bye, this particular co-star appeared with me in the ill-fated MISS JULIE production about which I’ve written before. I shall be wearing contacts this time!)

The point of making this art tomorrow is that the art itself demands to be made. If I can’t just “let it be” when it is, then I’ll never be anything but a legal secretary.

And that shit is truly pointless.

“Words of wisdom.”

If my very short film really does suck, it will simply never see the light of day. If it doesn’t, I’ll share it. Regardless, I’m going to learn a lot tomorrow. So I can’t lose.

There is no try - Yoda
Right on, Jedi Master!

Thus, until such time as I opt (or do not) to share my probably-terrible very short film, “Damn the crushing self doubt, there is no try!”

Worst Case Scenario Stacy

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