I hide behind pseudonyms and middle names, refuse to give out information, and sit, aloof, in the corner with my nose buried in a book, but they find me. And, despite my characteristic "leave me the fuck alone" scowl, they continue to do the most terrifying thing I can imagine...
They ask me for advice.
I've always viewed success as a substance best measured by a combination of two things: 1. productivity 2. happiness or sense of accomplishment (which, to me, are generally speaking the same things).
By my own definition, I have had some measured success in the entertainment industry. I have also had some epic failures. But through the world's eyes, I know I remain a sea monkey in the vast ocean of production. A speck in the universe that is film/tv/news.
So how, where and why do these people find me?
And, more importantly, why do they give a damn about what I have to say?
Recently (within the past week) I have fielded no fewer than three emails from complete strangers (how did they get my personal email? Your guess is as good as mine.) telling me that they are production professionals (one editor, one DP, one writer) offering services and seeking advice.
My brow furrowed at each request.
Why the fuck are you asking me?
From my vantage, it is nothing short of obvious that I am flying by the seat of my pants - following what is, to most, an unreachable goal fueled by an impractical passion.
I've been courting the poor house for years now. Taking on projects for less than no money. Speaking lines written by writers with no concept of the Oxford Comma and enduring directors who wouldn't know the lens from the tripod on which it's perched.
Who the hell wants to listen to me anyway?
Friends, it dawned on me today that I am living a brave life. An insane, ludicrous, pie in the sky, how in the fuck do you expect this to work (I dunno but I just know it's gonna) life.
And I can't afford to go to the doctor. Or get my teeth fixed. Or have my hair professionally dyed. Hell, I can't even afford the good toilet paper.
But somehow, people out there see what I am doing. And while the naysayers of the world poo poo my efforts, there are a few likeminded souls (Lord, what fools these mortals be!) who actually might like to follow in my footsteps.
I wouldn't recommend it.
Hell, run for the hills, I say.
But for those few strangers (fans?) writing to me, the best advice I can give is to turn you around and point you to someone smart. Someone not me.
My dears, I give you George Bernard Shaw--mixed with a hint of Erin's own recipe: "network, network, network!" and "follow your dreams. Even into the pits of hell. Follow your dreams."
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw