Friday, September 10, 2010

The Myth of New Blood

by Chris McGinty (According To Whim .com)

On Wednesday Nathan wrote a scathing criticism about Miguel's tendency to not just say, "Sorry, I can't," and go on with his bad self, instead opting to say he can, and then changing it to he can't.

Miguel apparently responded, but then decided not to post his response, instead commenting at the end of Nathan's post. You can go there to read the whole thing, but I'm going to deal with the following two statements.

NATHAN: I have talked about finding new blood for our group a few times in the past, and Chris has suggested finding people at TCC's drama program. I am not sure how to do this but I think it is the route to go.

MIGUEL: The main problem with "finding people at TCC's drama program" is navigating the social waters. Where exactly would one go to find the TCC drama program in such a way where approaching people isn't awkward? I guess you could just hang out in the halls of the theater department and strike up conversations with random strangers. But me being me. I'm not doing that.

Well Miguel, "I'm not doing that," or anything really, is an understatement. But I'm not really here to piss you off. I'm here to give my opinion on a couple of matters.

In regards to how to approach people at a college, when we first discussed this we were still at the shop. My idea was to attend an improv (Whose Line style) night that was taking place every Tuesday at TCU at the time, and to speak with the improv players. Not too awkward really. As far as the now goes, Nathan has made a flyer to post. It works for bands, why not actors?

As far as why I think Nathan is frustrated is because we're not talking about a Miguel who every fourth time flakes out. We're talking about a Miguel who flakes out literally almost every time. I've told Nathan not to worry about you as far as planning things around you goes. You're welcome along, of course, whenever you're available, but it's pointless to try to include you. Put another way, Nathan tries to make "Miguel Days" because you're his pal, and it seems like a good excuse to hang out, have a good time, and make some memories. I'm not sure if I remember the last time that I made a plan that was contingent on Miguel. It is unfortunate, but it is the way that it is.

I also warned Nathan not to expect much better from anybody we may find through our "New Blood" campaign. They're likely to be just as disinterested in pausing their excessively important lives to spend a couple of hours shooting. The range for creative types is between, "I'm the creative genius everybody listen to me" and "I'd like to work with these guys, but (fill in the activity) is more important." And I should clarify that there is no mid-range in most cases.

Now I will bring this around to the important part: Why it's a good thing that losers like us exist in such a mass quantity. The weird truth of the matter is that because most of us will sacrifice a creativity day to go to: work; hang out with a significant other; sleep; play Farmville; mow the lawn; dream about the fact that one day "Muffy's Friends" and "Star Bar" will really be a reality; generally sit around wondering why we haven't won the lottery literally or figuratively; and any number of other stupid things, there is still what seems to be a high barrier of entry into the world of creative success. If every talented person stepped up to the challenge there just wouldn’t be enough room. Since most of us put more emphasis on the stuff that isn’t creative success than the stuff that is creative success, the hacks who just never stopped pushing will always have work.

I watched the episodes that we’ve been running on public access since 2004 now, and we have one episode with new material in that time. You Tube has a better track record as new material goes, and the website is reasonably updated, especially if you count this daily blog. My point is that somewhere in all of this there is still no decision, “I/we am/are going to take this to the next level,” and until that decision is made, it hardly matters who is in our cast and crew. It will always be the same result. If we don’t believe it ourselves, no one else will believe it, and if no one believes it, there will always be something less important to do that seems more important.

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