Am I tortured enough to have my name in lights? (part one of two)
Yesterday, Erik Proulx posted about how stressed he is as he pursues his art. As I started reading, I thought, wow, I can relate! Like Erik, I am trying to do something with my life besides advertising. For me, it’s music, for Erik it’s making films and writing books (he is the creative force behind Lemonade, a movie about adfolk who have lost their jobs and rebooted their lives by pursuing something different from making ads).
But after finishing the piece, I found I couldn’t actually relate, or more accurately, I couldn’t honestly say that my state of mind is the same as Erik's. Unlike he is, I am not risking much to pursue my art. Erik is married, has kids, a mortgage, increasing debt… and as he chases his dream, his best source of income, from what I can gather, is reimbursement for travel fees. I, on the other hand, do not have a mortgage, do not have a kid and do not have debt of any kind (not counting debts of gratitude). What’s more, my wife is probably The Best Account Person on Earth and holds a high-level job with a big agency and runs a Massive account, the office’s biggest By Far, so our bank account is in ship-shape. Yes, I have brain damage, perpetual lightheadedness, and very little prospect of ever holding a big job again, but these aren’t things I can do much about. I don’t have to choose between music and getting another creative director job. I don’t have to open a mortgage bill and think to myself, “Damn, maybe it’s time to give up on this music thing and go find a job.”
In fact, the more I think about it, I’m not really risking anything by making an album or two, and I wonder, am I tortured enough to do anything of note? Am I sacrificing Anything? The short answer is no. But the longer answer is more promising.