No, that’s not the amount of money I’d like to make once I release my first EP.
It’s the title of one of my favorite TV Shows, which I was actually lucky enough to work on as a background actor last year. It stars Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis, a U.S. Attorney and hedge fund manager, respectively, who battle personally and professionally, constantly grappling with morality, self-preservation and their own egos. But the excellence of the plot is not why I wrote this.
I wrote this for a quote in a recent episode which really struck a chord with me.
A young lawyer trying to take down Damien Lewis’ billionaire character encounters tough opposition from a judge when he tries to show he has a real case against the billionaire. While seeming to be against the young lawyer in open court, in the privacy of the judge’s chambers, the judge reveals that he appreciates the young lawyer’s passion for justice, and does not want him to get discouraged, telling him:
“The world has lost countless artists who quit because they cared too much to come up short, and yet also too much to keep going.”
Caring too much to come up short, and yet too much to keep going.
It’s a brilliantly stated dichotomy that many of us struggle with in different aspects of life, especially in creative pursuits.
For me, at some point the scales tipped from not wanting to deal with all the trouble that comes with pursuing your creativity, towards feeling like I had no choice but to play music, as if my life wouldn’t ever quite function properly if I didn’t. And if that latter part is presumed true, is that because it is in fact a calling, or is it merely an addiction-like disease some of us are afflicted with?
I’ve spent plenty of time trying to figure that out. But it’s a trick question. The answer doesn’t matter, because the result is the same. Either way, you have to follow the path and see where it leads.