Never has this quote meant as much to me as it does now. I have recently come to realize that I find myself in a place where doing what I want to do, what I love to do, is more important than anything. More important than some restrictive dead-end agonizingly frustrating 9-5 (although, the health benefits are an added bonus, I must say). More important than conforming to societies idea of a proper and honorable profession. More important than making others happy. I used to (try to) hold steadfast to that old adage of, “Do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do”, but suddenly, those rules no longer apply (they never really did). At this stage in my life, I am focusing on doing what I want, and loving what I do, because what is the point in being unhappy? Of working yourself to death for the benefit of others while not looking after your own needs, wants and desires? I have been a film consultant, writer and casting director for the better part of my adult life, and I must say that yes, I have found what I love to do, and it never feels like work. I love connecting people, networking, increasing awareness of/in the arts, programming. It’s hard (grueling at times), inconsistent and thankless most days, but I absolutely love it. I wouldn’t change a thing.
I have spoken to numerous artists across the globe in the same predicament. How do you make a proper living at a profession that rarely offers stability–that is so unsure? One that is constantly changing and completely sporadic. And my answer is always the same, that I have no answer. Not one that goes over very well, because honestly, I think it’s mostly about trusting yourself, your skills and experience, and taking a leap of faith. Don’t worry so much about “not supposed to”, or, for that matter, “supposed to”. Trust that you are good at what you do; understand that your knowledge is valuable and your view, indispensable. Find your niche, light your path, and blaze your own trail. You’ll make it, if you stick to it long enough (in other words, every single day of the rest of your life).
Recently, the amazing Chelsea Weaver (she runs our Twitter and Facebook pages–make sure you say hello!) and I were guests at a film reception. I met a few up and coming filmmakers and screenwriters who were wondering how one actually made a living doing what they want. All I could say was, it’s possible. It may not be easy (the good things never are), and it won’t be instantaneous, but it is possible. I promise.