I was listening to an episode of the Nerdist Podcast with Kevin Smith today. Among the various tidbits and humor, Kevin talked about how his newest movie, Tusk, and how it basically began as a random idea from a conversation with friends. He knew that he had an interesting idea and that no one was going to fund this passion project because it was such a crazy idea and he did not have the best track record at the box office recently.
Of course, instead of this deterring Smith, he found other ways to fund this movie and did his damn best to get it made. Essentially, this has been the trajectory of Kevin Smith’s career. He made his own start before there were avenues like YouTube and really the Internet for distribution. The technology back then was also nowhere near the available toys and tools of now. So, Smith, basically had to make legitimately good movies for extremely cheap to have any chance at a career.
All this lead to Clerks. So he done good.
Throughout the podcast, and nearly every interview he has done in the last few years, Smith iterates that if you want to do or be something, then you should just go and do it. With all the resources we have access to for distribution, marketing, and creation, there is no excuse for why if you want to make a movie, write a book, draw a comic, or just create anything, you can’t.
Now, the eternal argument against this advice from creators is “of course you can say that, you’re ______.” However, the truth is that Kevin Smith wasn’t born “Kevin Smith”, Neil Gaiman wasn’t born “Neil Gaiman”, nor was Patton Oswalt born “Patton Oswalt.” Every creative individual began as just some schlub wanting to make something in the vain hope that maybe someone would enjoy it and hopefully make enough off of it to eat at some point.
It is actually kind of comforting knowing that all the people whom I follow and find entertaining were just like me toiling away at their craft, trying to improve, and just having fun in the process. There is no guarantee of success the longer you do something. The only thing guarantee that Smith gives is that if you are having fun doing something you love then the journey, wherever it may lead, will have been worth it.
I suppose that is all any of us can hope for, and I will try my best to enjoy all the moments on this weird, creative trip I am taking.