Thursday 9th February 2017
I’ve felt a lot more settled today. After the rollercoaster of a week, I do still feel mentally shattered, but I managed to make today very productive.
I’ve been doing some social media work. Yesterday I had some ideas of what I need to do, and the big issue has been how to organise it all. The mental fatigue has meant that I’m not as productive as I would like to be, and that’s frustrating me a little. I feel like I’m currently working at 80% at the moment, which given the last couple of weeks I’ve had is pretty good, all things considered. But I’d like to get it back to 100%
Some of that fatigue has come from the day job, which still has a shit-ton of work to be done but feels like it’s at least not getting worse.
I went to the gym this evening and I’m pleased with my progress. The weights I’m lifting as part of a dumbbell inclined press are weights I would struggle just to carry. And whilst my deadlifts have been stuck on 116kg for ages now, today I felt that the weight seemed lighter and I retained my grip. My shoulders did get a bit fatigued but then I’ve done a load of shoulder work this week.
I found myself getting a little distracted this evening. I became curious as to whether Kayne West’s whole persona was authentic or a very clever deliberate act. I ended up reading a ton about it. It’s interesting because during my time doing Action-Figure I got to meet a lot of celebrities. I rarely got star struck (except that one time with Matt Groening from The Simpsons) but found how they handled fame incredibly interesting. Whilst there’s definitely a part of me that’s showy, I think the fact I always wanted to be a writer or director growing up rather than an actor, is quite telling. I want to get my voice / vision / whatever-you-like-to-call-it out there, but I’ve never wanted to be famous.
Meeting these successful people was certainly inspiring, especially when you quickly found out they were just normal people who worked ridiculously hard. But I also got to see a darker side too, the way they were always cautious around new people, wondering if that connection they were making was with the authentic person that worked hard to succeed in their chosen industry or the celebrity the person thought them to be.
I think the whole experience taught me the need to put an authentic version of yourself out there. I’ve seen authors make this mistake, where they go beyond just amplifying certain characteristics online, into pretending they are someone they are not. It goes fine for a while and then something goes wrong and the author gets judged based on their persona.
Even worse if you are a ‘real’ celebrity and get demonised for being something you’re not. Those years hanging out at San Diego Comic Con gave me an understanding why so many actors were on drugs or in therapy. Real fame fucks with your head, man.
And so this foray into reading up about Kanye probably wasn’t telling me anything I probably didn’t already know. It’s easy to think of things like this as wasted time, as pure procrastination. And yet, I know that research will come in handy somewhere down the line. It’ll either help with a scene, help flesh out a character or even spark a new story.
Got a good 2.5k written / edited as well. What was particularly interesting was seeing how my brain works. If you’ve been following, you know I’ve been thinking about the female character in this scene a lot, making a lot of conscious tweaks and decisions. And yet, I come to write her and, no word of a lie… I add a line of dialogue in, only to find that exact same line from the last draft, a little later in the draft.
Now, it’s possible to argue that it’s a sign that, in the year since I’ve written that draft, my craft towards creating character hasn’t changed. But I look at it a different way. It’s a sign that my brain, a year apart, is in alignment on this scene and what it needs to do. If, after everything that has happened, I still deciding that the piece of dialogue is right for the character, then I take that as being fact.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.