I’m a lot of things… but an “activist” isn’t one of them.
You are not likely to see me holding a sign that says “Down with &*#?!” any time soon or anywhere close.
I’m more or a guy that is “for” something rather than “against” something.
May people aren’t “for” things because there is positive effort in being a “for” person and it seems that human nature leans more toward the negative, or “against” posture.
Blah, blah… and… blah.
Here’s what I do… because I am a “non-activist.”
I saw a film about a certain oil company that apparently did some major damage in our gulf coast some years ago that likely destroyed the fishing business and the families that depended on it.
By the way… if you are someone who loves fish and the business is destroyed you can always go get lesser fish from some store somewhere for a greater price. As the consumer you/we have many choices. As the fisherman… if your waters are contaminated… you’re screwed. No livelihood… no food on the table… no college education for junior.
That’s bad stuff. It’s hard enough being a fisher family without adding a mutant, inedible catch to the equation.
Sorry… that’s just how it is. I’ve never thought much about it and as recently as yesterday I reacted negatively when somebody said it about something.
So… this morning when I was tired and going over my lines in the living room of the Cryer mansion (my living room in Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots) I sat down and put my script away. (There’s a fine line between knowing your dialogue well and too well. One breeds natural performance and the other breeds crappy “mirror” acting… in me, anyway).
I decide to read something else for a few minutes and notice a Fine Art magazine there on the coffee table.
For those of you in the “industry” you know that all of the magazines that are laying around on a set actually have fake “approved” covers and that what is inside can be most anything.
I need to back up to the long night before for a moment:
The reason I couldn’t sleep is that it hit me like a ton of bricks that “John Schneider’s Smothered” has yet to get distribution. I thought this movie would be out by now and printing thousand dollar bills for everyone who had anything to do with it. The test audiences have raved. The reviewers have called it “A love letter to the horror fan” and people who don’t like horror films have all said that they loved it.
That and $4.75 will get you a grande non-fat latte after waiting in a long line on any given morning.
So… I open this magazine and see a picture of a woman hiding behind a piece of furniture with creepy arms coming out of it.
“Interesting” thinks I. “This must be about a horror movie.”
Not just another pretty face. I’m pretty damn smart.
I read on…
“THE YEAR’S BUZZIEST FRIGHT FLICK” jumps out at me.
“Oh great” thinks I. “At least somebodies horror film is printing those thousand dollar bills.”
Bitter..? A little. Disappointed..? Yeah. Embarrassed..? You bet your sweet bippy.
I read on about this film that has taken the industry by storm with it’s plot twists and fresh approach to the genre.
Then I saw it…
Remember what makes me vomit when I hear it? Now I’m going to actually SAY it… listen…
“All things happen for a reason.”
This is what I saw on the next page of this phony Fine Art magazine that had been sitting on this set for two seasons:
In case you can’t read it… allow me:
“We shot the film and had an amazing time, and then it disappeared for three years.”
Thanks, Universe… I needed to hear that. I guess all things do happen for a reason!
Final note… The Cabin in The Woods went on to make 66 million dollars. Way to go!
I find it amazing when I hear people say “Oh… I could never write a blog.”
I don’t think I could never NOT write a blog!
I find it therapeutic… relaxing… cleansing…
You should try it sometime if you don;’t already. Sit down and start writing and you’ll be amazed at what comes out.
This morning my coworkers and I sat down and discussed how to best handle the workload at the “office.” There were many suggestions and positions and perspectives expressed. Some from history, knowledge and experience… some from newness, short sightedness and inexperience.
What amazed me is that all had value.
Don”t get me wrong… it’s very hard to teach this old dog new tricks but it can be done.
Take the time to sit with you coworkers and share your take on the workplace… whatever it is.
You’ll be surprised and what you hear… at what you learn… at what you teach.
All perspectives have value. We are spokes on a wheel. Without every one of us doing our part the whole carriage will shudder, shake and, eventually, come off the axel!
Everyone is important. Everyone has a part, a perspective… a say.
I didn’t plan on writing that… I only started typing and that is what came out. Why don’t you give it a try? It’s fun… It’s therapeutic… relaxing… cleansing…
My stories – They seem to fall into place. First the beginning… then the end. “Leap” is actually a better word…
Then… over the next few minutes… seconds or months… the rest claws its way out of my brain… my heart… knees… through my elbows and wrists to finally jump through my fingers onto this grimy laptop that has served me so well over the years.
Stories don’t need to be told… they demand to be told.
Creativity and inspiration is only to obey the demand.
I could no more hold a story back from pouring out onto this keyboard than I could hold the water back from destroying man’s real folly in Malibu (damn… I just got a flash of the beginning and end of that film in my head. Guess I will have to write it soon. Title..? “Seawall.” Maybe…)
In any event… some are asking where these stories come from. Where the inspiration, catalyst, ideas come from that become “Smothered” or “The Twenty-Nine” or “Backwater” or “Like Son” or….
The truth is I have no idea. They fall out of my fingers like panicked people from a burning building (Oops… there goes my childhood speaking again! My childhood voice seldom takes me to anything that resembles a puppy dog or a puffy cloud!)
When I write I stick to a wonderful adage someone once told me. Something that has served me well over the years and, I believe, will serve you well in your creative endeavors:
“Don’t get it right, get it written.”
There’s always time for that analytical editor to come in and repair the bumps and potholes created by the passion. I try not to edit anything until I have gotten it all out…
“There, there, Johnny… get it out… get it all out… that’s a good boy…”
So there they are… the voices inside my brain that insist they be heard.
I have to run now as there are 4 stories churning in there at the moment. 4 sets of totally different circumstances, realities, people and global perspectives that are currently demanding to see the light of day. If I don’t put elbow to finger, finger to keyboard there’s no telling what they will do in there!
All I know is that they have to come out somewhere… somehow. Like rust on a nicely painted and polished quarter panel… they will have their day in the sun!
What inspires you? How does it come out? Have you considered that question before? If not… it’s time you did…
Spending every waking moment getting the studio ready and LOVING IT!