As we all enter the new year excited about resolutions, new healthy habits, and goals to get our dream projects finally made, it is also key to bring awareness to those things that are not serving us and therefore will not serve our resolutions or goals.
Let me start by saying, I LOVE our industry. It is my passion and my heart. So, by no means do I mean to make generalizations or place blame. That said, it is important as creatives that we recognize 2 very toxic concepts that are prevalent in our industry, FEAR and HUSTLE. It is important to ensure we do not let these permeate our creative lives, which can stunt us from being happy and fulfilled.
FEAR- Our industry is governed by fear. Executives fearful of green-lighting a film that flops, therefore jeopardizing their jobs so they continue to program safe bets (sequels, remakes, Tom Cruise as the hero, Jim Carey as the comic relief, Jennifer Anniston as the girl next door...you get where I'm going).
Fearful of losing money, losing respect, being too unique, being not unique enough.
Fear we cannot all be successful, it must be either you or me that gets the role, financing for our film, big break, etc. One of the biggest losses here is we become so paralyzed and focused on the fear that we forget our true value - our unique ideas and bringing 100% us to the room and our work. Fear is why Dallas Buyers Club almost did not get made and why Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo did.
HUSTLE- Our industry is known for working crazy hours, prioritizing work over family, neglecting ourself for the sake of the studio, film, boss, etc. We oddly begin to take pride in bragging: we were so busy we missed lunch, we only slept 4 hours last night preparing for the next days shoot, we are working 24/7, missing nights, weekends AND holidays, etc. We also buy into the idea that to make anything happen we need to push, hustle, and constantly go go to push projects up hills.
Let me ask, does any of this really sound physically or mentally healthy for us? Would we think that was ok for our friends working in a bank or the restaurant industry? Does any of this lend itself to the life, work balance? NO. On top of that, you can be successful without buying into these. 1000%! Now, don't get me wrong, you have to work hard! Sometimes there are unavoidable long days, weeks, or months. There are times where taking a risk on casting unbankable talent, or a pushing a script that may be a bit out there, is not advisable or the smart business decision. What I am talking about is buying into the idea that this is how it is and what you need to accept in order to be successful.
Instead, it is key to first be AWARE of it. Then create ways to protect yourself.
Working through both fear and hustle in the New Year will free you up to create and produce from a much more fluid and free state! Allow your goals to manifest with much more ease and satisfaction.
Happy New Year!