Today is the day that everyone Googles and quotes MLK, but I like to be different so I quote Jim Carrey.
“Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything, or creating anything. Period. If you ain’t desperate at some point, you ain’t interesting.”
How true is this? How many of my friends, old and new, have taken a steady payceck over following their dreams? The answer is pretty much all of them and yet I sit here day after day, week after week, month after month struggling to survive because I refuse to give up. I find Jim’s quote to be both true and inspiring.
It is so much easier to take a pacheck and push the create dreams aside because let’s face it, we all ain’t going to be Jim Carrey, and that’s fine. That said, I never want to have regrets about where my life went. Would I like to have steady money? Absolutely.
When I gave up acting for animation and a steady paycheck part of me died and I felt very sad for years, but needed the money, or thought I did. The truth of the matter is that during those flush years in animation I was so low on the totem pole and so buried in debt from college that I was still broke and working 90 hours a week to survive.
When the 2D animation industry crashed I thought about going back into acting, but decided to do the one thing that I was always more passionate about and always afraid to really go after and that was writing.
I quote fictional character George McFly.
“What if they read it and tell me that I am no good? I don’t think I could handle that kind of rejection.”
But at that point, I had lost my first career, I had lost my second career-or thought I was losing it, so I decided fuck it, I’ll do it and I started writing.
It’s been hard lemme tell you about a back breaking thankless from society process that I LOVE! I have never felt better about my choices and love it. Do I get the looks of ‘you must be broke’ or ‘why don’t you get a real job’ when I tell people I am a writer? Of course. Writers are flakey, crazy, unstable, broke, childish, immature, drink too much and loners. I have heard it all.
That said, I am probably some of those things but not all of them and animation is still around-it isn’t like it was, but it is there and I fell in love with it. I love to draw and I love to write, and someday I know things will change. Because animation is so up and down I am constantly worried, or sometimes even desperate and the truth is this. It pushes me to write.
Eddie Murphy said this. “If you have something to fall back on, you will. So that’s why I never had a back up plan.”
I heard that when I was like 13 and it helped shape the choices I made. Do I regret going to school for musical theater and hearing over and over that my degree doesn’t count? Not really. I love being in college and it was a great experience and I know if I had gone to business school, or advertising, journalism I would be comfortable now, but at what cost? Giving up on my dream to work in the entertainment industry? No thank you. I don’t want to wake up like Mr. Holland at 60 having missed my true passion.
So this is why at my age I am constantly looking for that next animation job and have a roommate, and am constantly writing and I know that being scared is what is driving me.