Aiming Lower

Our yardstick for measuring success is messed up.

There seems to be this perception that unless you make it BIG, you haven't made it.

I was listening to a podcast -- an interview of some comedian/actor -- and he was talking about having that 'what do you do?' conversation with strangers, like on an airplane.

"I'm an actor," he would say.

"Oh -- what have you been in?"

And he would list some things he had been in some commercials, some minor TV characters, etc. And the person he's talking to would inevitably end the conversation with something like, "Keep at it, maybe you'll make it someday!"

This comedian voiced what I have felt for a long time. How is doing what you love and being able to make a sustainable living not already 'making it?' I suspect every person that has ever told their family they want to be an actor has gotten the warnings about what a tough field it is, and how it's rare to become as prolific and wealthy as Brad Pitt. Well, duh! But Brad Pitt's not the yardstick. The yardstick should be Brad Schmitt who does community theater and loves it.

Can you think of any creative field where people don't say -- oh, that's a tough field, not many people 'make it' ? Acting, art, writing, animation, video game design, music?

I say, 'so what?' Dear creative people: Keep doing what you're doing. Make your yardstick whatever you want - is it just to finish a project? Is it to make $10? a million? Is it just to spend a happy Saturday afternoon? To be better at something than you were last week?

That. Whatever that is, aim for that.