I don’t know how many chances you get. Sometimes, it would seem people – often the least deserving – are rolling in ’em. Ever notice that? People you see ‘failing upward’? The kind of folks who get fired from one job and the very next day, someone else comes along to offer them a better one? I’m sure you’ve seen it a million times. And then, there’s folks you know who literally bust their ass, day-in and day-out, and ‘can’t catch a break’. The, “Ohhh, if only.” stories. The, “Right place, wrong time.” cases.
Despite chances I’ve gotten, (getting in on the black & white indie comics boom back in the late ’80s, the TV pilot for the companies in Asia, the peachy magazine job in Manhattan), it’s never felt like there wasn’t a long stretch in between. So now? Without being able to drive anywhere I want to do conventions and expand my network, without the ability to just hop on a plane by myself and set up meetings with people in California or New York like I could before the lights went out? Without the day job that constantly brought me into contact with other professionals who could make things happen (like the photographer who headhunted me out of New York)? Things’re tougher. No doubt.
But I think when chances aren’t plentiful, and opportunities are few and far between, you gotta be the one to create ’em. Me? Despite being the only person on the planet who’s done what I did in film, I can’t just make some calls and scrape together $200K to shoot another feature. Back in ’92, when the comics thing was blowing up? Maybe. But not now. Not even close.
That said, I was pretty sure the door to me directing a film had closed when I went blind. Like a lot of writers, I wanted to direct something I’d written. I wanted to steer that ship out of the harbor and, hopefully, around the various icebergs in my way, to the Port of Success. So, when I decided not to worry about which doors might open and which doors appeared
closed, I just started breaking some down. Has it made me rich? Nope. Has it gotten me on Oprah? Nope. Has it gotten me some other jobs? Ehh, kinda. So, I keep doing what I do. I try and make something out of nothing and see what happens. There are always irons in the fire. Today, a couple of people I know to be really good guys said, “count me in,” if I start moving forward on an ultra-no-budget film project. One of them is a guy I would go down fighting with – the kind of guy you’d put your back to the wall beside – because he’s that kinda person. The other? Someone who’s only recently come into my circle of friends, who can bring a lot to the creative table. And, that post’s only been up a couple hours.
So. Opportunity may not knock on my door very often. But, these days? If I can catch it walking down the street and go tackle it and tie it up and lock it in the basement? Sure. I’m in. Sitting back and waiting? Letting the scene pass you by because you’re not willing to go out and stir things up? That’s not me. Not sure exactly what’s gonna come out on the other end once we do get working on something (Web series? Festival short? Music video? Single webisode as sizzle-reel?), but sure hope folks I know who deserve something to fall into their lap come along for the ride. Yeah, the road’ll be bumpy, but like Ray Davies said, “When it gets too smooth it’s time to call it a day.”
I may not be able to see the horizon. Hell, I can’t even see the next turn. But I know there’s a whole lot of road left to travel. Dunno if we’ll need a bus or a Mini Cooper, but definitely looking forward to this next trip.
Currently listening to: “Opportunities” by Pet Shop Boys