My one goal from the beginning of 2009 was to do at least one creative thing a week. When I thought of it, it seemed pretty ambitious, then I started writing twice a week for this site, and it was automatically taken care of, so any other creative thing I did was just metaphorical gravy. I think I’ll need to bump up that ambition for the next year if I’m going to end up being really proud of the things I create.
I learned some things about myself this past year. Specifically:
- I’m not terrible at improv theater, even improv comedy, which
hasalways terrified me
- I know I’ve always liked performing, but I think I might have that character trait most celebrities have – the one where they don’t feel properly human unless they’re entertaining someone. As far as I know, there’s no cure for this, and I might as well embrace it
- It’s totally okay for my wife and I to have separate personal projects
- I will never get rid of this awful credit card debt while I keep buying things to entertain myself
- The only likely way for me to erase said debt in the next year is to get a second job
Taken all together, the only conclusion I can come to is that in the year MMX, I’ll need to work aggressively to start some kind of entertainment career to combine with my regular day job. Maybe that means voice-over work, maybe it means my own Web series, maybe it means stand-up comedy, I don’t yet know.
If my research into some of my favorite entertainers is accurate, they make do by having multiple sources of income. For instance, not just from selling books of fake text messages to/from the president, but also from doing creativity workshops with corporations. That’s the other big thing I learned this year: you can have different products for different audiences. Seems so obvious now.
So, new goal: publish at least one entertaining thing a week. For my purposes, “publish” means do something where the public can see it.
Next week I’m going to perform in an open mic comedy night. The weekend after that, some friends and I are recreating 15 seconds’ worth of one scene for Star Wars Uncut. Naturally, I’m not getting paid for either of these. But the immediate goal is just to get it out there, build up a portfolio, and show what I can do.
Publishing something every week seems pretty terrifying at the moment, but then again, so did my first few improv classes. Besides, now that we’re living without regular TV service, there do seem to be quite a few more hours available in the week. Might as well fill them with the things that make me feel properly human.