I walked outside my house today, here in southern Cal, and damned if I wasn’t hit with the feeling that I was standing in Ireland. The bite of the air temperature was exactly like Ireland. The sky was the same color as many mornings I had there when starting the days trek to yet another gorgeous place for yet another cup of tea with no one in particular. That easy Irish feeling of, “where ever I end up is the right place to be.” I’ve been to Ireland a lot in my life and it’s a place that makes me feel like every creative thought I have is possible. I carry that feeling in me when I get back, for a while, but then the biz catches up with me and slowly I reunite with the news that the only things possible here are the things “they” say I can do. The people in charge who sign the checks and build the projects that needs actors.
It’s the inspiration that dies. Great things are possible, and yes there are rules, but great things are possible if you allow yourself to remain inspired. Now, how do you do that with all the factors that overwhelm our pragmatic minds telling us the odds are against us?
You stop not doing it.
You are an artist, it’s what you do naturally. Not allowing your artist to be inspired is the unnatural thing. We clog up and get in our heads about the rules and how to be a good actor boy and girl so we can get a job and get on track.
Step outside your door and get hit by a wind that came all the way from Ireland to remind you. Stand in line at the coffee joint and see the smile on a foreign face that makes you jealous for her excitement. Study that flyer on the bulletin board with the cool design that sends your mind reeling about the person who dreamed it up. We are sponges for this exciting creative process and yet we numb ourselves a bit to make sure it all doesn’t hurt too much. We get that spark of inspiration, which excites our mind to all of the possibilites, which leads us to the career progress report. If the report says you’re in no place to make this idea come true, we just shut it down, don’t we? It hurts. If the career isn’t flying, well then it hurts to think of all the possibilities…you’re not getting to take advantage of.
This ability to be touched by the simplest of things, by the most every-day of things, to have your mind wander in great spirals of “what if..”‘s, this is the dividing line between artist and civilian. We are responsible for inspiring those who don’t have this innate quality. The result of our mind’s wanderings is art. Art is the single greatest thing man has contributed to the planet. Besides raising a baby, there is no more noble job. Isn’t that spike of energy you feel when something really touches you just a priviledged feeling?
Walk all day with your artist’s idea box open to everything that wants to nudge it a little. Don’t think you need to share what you learn either. Just by the way you move through the space other artists in the area will get the vibe and you’ll be sharing it without knowing it.