I started pre-production on a short film today. Its a film I wrote a few years back and never really had the nerve to move forward with until now. Its exciting and at the same time scary for me, because film is brand new. Every time I venture out onto these limbs I tend to climb onto, I have the same fear: will they get it? Not so much in the sense that I fear people might not like the film. Some people will. Some people won't. More than that, though, I wonder if people will ever truly understand my purpose in all of this.
I remember having a conversation with my daughter once where I was attempting to explain to her my master plan about making music and photography and movies, and writing books, psychology, and so on and so forth. I was excited to share my dreams. I was excited to be so bold as to dream my dreams. Her reaction.... "Dad, why do you wanna do so many things?" The question is fair enough. Its one that has been asked of me by so many and on so many occasions that I am beginning to think my answer doesn't make sense. But the answer is simple. I can't help it. Its like creative Attention Deficit Disorder. One minute I'm knee deep in music, the next I'm taking pictures. Then, all of the sudden, writing poetry. And now I'm making a movie.
When you do one thing, and do it really well, one of the problems that can arise is that your talent becomes your identity. Michael Jordan IS a basketball player, in most peoples eyes. He's not a guy who happened to play basketball. The problem with that is that when you stop doing that thing, it kinda looks weird. Like when Jordan played baseball. People thought of him as a basketball player attempting to play baseball, not an athlete that switched sports. What we might not realize is that perhaps he liked both sports equally and just happened to make it big in basketball. On the other side of that coin is the person who does many things. What do we call him? Jack of all trades, master of none. It implies a lack of commitment and focus. Anything he does in one genre is automatically compared to things he has done in others, whether the comparison is reasonable or not. So, unless he's a master of ALL trades, he is criticized by default.
When I see old friends, it's inevitable that they will ask, "Do you still play?" They are referring to my trumpet, of course. I never know how to answer that question. The simple answer is no. I rarely play my trumpet anymore. Even though I write music often enough, it rarely calls for me to play my horn. But when I give the simple answer, I can see their eyes sink. Its as if I've disappointed them by letting go of what they knew to be my dream. What many don't realize is that I did not give up on the dream. I expanded it. Somewhere along the way, I stopped being a trumpet player. I became an artist. I'm a poet. A photographer. I musician. A writer. And with any luck, a filmmaker. I love them all equally. Because most people I know have heard my music but never seen any of my other work, they tend to see this as a silly idea. The scatter brained musician that can't focus. But for me, the title of musician does not apply. I'm just a guy. I love to create. Its like breathing to me. If I stopped, I'd die. If I only did it one way, I'd feel suffocated. So, as I begin this new endeavor, while somehow still working on several others that I've got going on, remember this. I'm just trying to breathe.