01 January, 2011

Kevin Smith on Living the Dream

If you don't know who Kevin Smith is, you've been living in a box buried in a caved-in cave.  He's the wildly-successful filmmaker behind Mallrats, Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Dogma, among others.  He's done a run on Daredevil, and I have to say he's just as excellent at writing comics as he is making movies.  He may not be your thing, but you can't avoid the fact he's living the dream.

I've been in love with him since Clerks.  He'd captured life as a cashier perfectly.  So yeah, maybe I'm a little partial.  So sue me.

He's started doing #Smonologues on Twitter.  You can find the very first one here, and it's awesome, but the one I want to highlight is here.  It is a kick in the arse.  It is a reminder of the truly important shit.  And even if you're not a "creative" person, even if what you want to do in your life has nothing to do with writing or filmmaking or art of any kind, you still need to get your arse kicked, because sometimes buttocks need prodding before you're motivated to go live your dreams.

So here you go:

But before all of that, you gotta start with the idea - and not just the idea for the story/movie/novel/installation/song/podcast/whatever. You gotta start with the idea that you can do this - something that’s not normally done by everybody else. Since it’s not second nature to take leaps of faith, you have to SMotivate yourself. Even invent language, if you have to. Embrace a reasonable amount of unreasonability.

But nobody else can believe in you if you don’t believe in what you’re doing. I’ve willed almost all the stuff I’ve done into existence, and if I can do that, anybody can do that. So start your chatter: talk about what you’re going to do. Don’t pursue a role, LIVE that role. Like my sister told me, back when I confessed I wanted to be a filmmaker…

“Then BE a filmmaker,” she said. 

“That’s what I’m saying: I wanna be.”

And that’s when she gave me the million dollar advice…

“No - BE a filmmaker. You say you wanna be; just BE a filmmaker. Think every thought AS a filmmaker. Don’t pine for it or pursue it; BE it. You ARE a filmmaker; you just haven’t made a film yet.” 

And it sounded artsy-fartsy as fuck, but it was CRAZY useful advice. A slacker hit the sheets that night, but the CLERKS-guy got out of bed the following morning. 

So plant the seeds early & take as much time as it requires to will your goals into existence. Keep a few going, you’ll never get bored. Expect moments of discouragement, but don’t wallow in them. Remember that if an ass-hat like Kevin Smith can succeed at something like film or life, then what the fuck is stopping YOU from doing the same? I was not ‘to the manor born’. This shit was not manifest, nor was it ever offered.
And just remember that, when you read about some deal or project, sometimes that’s just some bluffy motherfucker trying to change his or her game by willing some shit into existence. 

Only guy I ever heard of who got an amazing life literally handed to him was Hal Jordan. Don’t wait for a dying alien to give you a magic ring: just do it yourself, Slappy. We can’t all be Superman, but we sure as shit can train hard, and with loads of practice, we can elevate our simple, non-Kryptonian selves to be the Batman. And who the fuck doesn’t wanna be Batman? Batman has an impeccable moral compass. He’s clever & mysterious. And when fucktards get sassy, he punches them in the face. Plus, that car.

Ideas cost nothing yet have the potential to yield inexplicably long careers & happy lives. So go ahead: dream a l’il dream. #SMonologueOff
Be it.  Live it.

This is your year.  No excuses.


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