Sometimes, I feel like my work means nothing, nothing at all except some personal satisfaction and a way to satisfy my creative need. Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. Who doesn’t love a pat on the back every once in a while. But if that’s all it is, does it really matter in the grand scheme of things?
I get to play with all sorts of groovy equipment, cool cameras, lenses that cost more than my house, computers that cost more than my car,…I get to make beautiful images and cool graphics, visual sweets that not only make ME feel good, but the people who hire me as well. I get up every morning and if I choose to say so, I can say “Fuck the man! I’m the boss of me! I can be late if I want to”. (The truth is, I go in earlier and stay later now that I’m the boss of me). In my first 18 months in business I’ve won 5 awards, paid off a two year loan for the business, built a very nice camera package, building a great G&E package, blah, blah, blah.
It feels really good too.
Now, don’t get this all twisted up…I’m so grateful and thankful for the way things have worked out. I know things will take a dive at some point, they always do, for everyone, and often more than once. It’s happened in my personal life and I’ve prevailed.
But something is missing.
About a month ago, a friend of mine who spends time between the West and East Coasts, offered to write a script for me to use as kind of a test bed for a film. Since then we’ve had three telephone meetings to hash out some ideas. Things have gone better than I planned and it appears that we are now in the development stage of a film of some sort (more on that at another time). During our last conversation I expressed to her all of the thoughts I’ve had about feeling like I wasn’t doing anything meaningful in my profession. I also mentioned that I’ve prayed and meditated on how my talents can be used to serve some one other than myself.
It’s amazing what happens when people talk to each other. You find out things you didn’t know about each other, you often learn things about the world around you, and some times you see that your prayers have been heard and are being answered.
My prayer was getting answered.
It turns out that she has been interested in doing a film that answers some questions and provides meaning for, and celebrates a community…not just any community…Roanoke. The subject matter is close to me personally, and many of my friends. It’s a drama…a condition that condemns a person to a life of misery and certain early death…but also a way out, a way to live a prosperous and rich life and thrive…dramatic life changing shit. I’ve lived that life, and so have many of you. It’s called being human, falling and getting back up. It’s called surrender, hope, and faith…enjoying the ride and the people you meet along the way, the destination not important until you get there. As we continued our conversation and exchange of ideas, it became more and more apparent that I had better be careful for what I ask, because I may just get it!
The footwork ahead of me provides the opportunity to take my work to another level, one that serves others, as well as being damn fun. As I was reminded during the conversation with my bi-coastal friend, “It’s so juicy, the life you’re living”.