In a brilliant episode of Barry, the equally fun and dark HBO show, Detective Moss asked Barry, “So what’s your endgame?” Barry, hitman-by-night-and-wannabe-actor-by-day replied, “Well, I guess I want to be a stage actor. Do plays and stuff.”
So what’s your endgame?
My ego repeated the question.
I would like to be an unstarved artist.
My self answered.
At my stage in the game, the next question becomes this:
Which bit comes first?
The artist bit? Or the unstarving bit?
I know there’re folks keeping the day job so that they can create art at night. I have tried that before and I know I can’t do that again.
So here I am, a starving artist. Saying it out loud hung my ego, my vanity, my pride dry.
Here is the truth: knowing my endgame makes the choice, the truth easier to spill, makes the other voices far less effective. And it certainly makes me more productive.
And here is the inconvenient truth: When we choose the artist route, there are certain standards we have to bend. In most cases, it means to lower the income bar to make way for the artistic bar.
PS. If you haven’t seen A Thousand Clown (1965), it’s worth checking. It’s about an uncompromising artist’s way taking on the world.