There’s a musical called [title of show] that is extremely funny. If you don't have the cast album, I highly recommend it. It’s brilliant in the fact that I don’t think anyone has ever captured how difficult and scary it is to create something and put it out there. Except Mary Shelley, but that was creating something extremely different. In fact, the musical itself ends with the characters, self-aware (they are constantly breaking the fourth wall) finally saying, “whelp. We can’t keep adding stuff. We eventually have to let it go” and then most of the funny aspects stop as they watch their musical go.
I enjoy that musical so much and I have the entire cast soundtrack downloaded up on my iPod (Or Mp3 player, until that Apple endorsement comes in… fingers crossed!) because it really does speak to me about the difficulties of creating… anything! In my case, this blog, which I don’t think people realize how scary it is to put out because now everyone can see what I write, and Facebook page that I try to update with funnier status updates because I’m that kind of guy. I don’t believe in taking life to seriously, because in the end life doesn’t take me too seriously. (Besides, my life is boring. No one wants to see my REAL status updates. “Woke up”. “brushed my teeth.” “Drank orange juice from skull of my enemy.” “Went to work.”)
But it is not easy putting yourself out there. People are reading it. And judging you for it. In the time I’ve started doing my status updates, I have been called racist, I’ve been accused of plagiarism, I’ve been told I’m not funny, been yelled at, offended people, and had some family members say hurtful things to me. I can handle most of it… except for the family members saying hurtful things, and the plagiarism thing. The plagiarism stemmed from me making the same joke everyone was making, so I was guilty of being hackneyed, not stealing from you. I won’t apologize for making the same joke everyone was making. I may throw in a “Call Me Maybe” joke, too. I’m not stealing that, everyone is joking about that song, it’s the most popular song in America at the time I’m writing this. It’s also the most annoying. But I can’t stop listening to it. I’m half convinced that it’s placing a hypnotic suggestion in all of us, and now we’re just waiting for the trigger word to launch an assault on Canada. On the off chance that it’s not, I call that idea! (Yes, I know that the singer is from Canada. That’s part of the joke.)
I don’t think people quite understand that this is difficult. I won’t stop doing it, because at the end of the day I enjoy it, and I’m not going to let the people get me down. I won’t lie and pretend to be someone that I’m not. And that’s what some of this comes down to, this blog, my Facebook status updates… being who I am. When I write, I can finally allow myself to be who I really am.
I bring up [title of show] because of one song in particular. It’s called “Die Vampire, Die.” In it, the characters sing of the Vampires that fly around your head and to steal your creative energy. It’s actually really funny. (Maybe I should have just written a review about the show? It’s a great show. Go buy the cast album.) The Vampires are things like people that don’t want you to use bad language or write about anything offensive, the people that tell you someone else did it better, and lastly, that Vampire of self-doubt. The thing is, I think they got it a little wrong, because I think all of the other Vampires lead to the last one… self-doubt. When someone tells you that they’re offended and it’s someone you care about, you really do stop and think for a moment about not wanting to hurt them, and then pulling back. If someone says someone has already done it better than you… it pulls you back into that self-doubt.
The song also sings that you have to be like Van Helsing and fight back. I’m assuming they mean the one in the book, not the crappy one played by Hugh Jackman. (How do you mess up Wolfman vs. Frankenstein vs. Dracula vs. Wolverine? How?) And that’s important. At the end of the day, when doing anything creative, you have to realize that you’re the one who has to live with it. You’re the one who has to say, “This is a representation of my work. I’m proud of it. Warts and all. Especially the warts!” But some days that can be so difficult. Much like making a good Van Helsing movie, apparently.
I know today’s post is rather long. Sometimes I don’t know what to say, and sometimes, I need to get some stuff out there to everyone. None of this is meant to be a declaration that I’m going to be anyone but me while I’m posting this stuff. This is meant to be my way of reaffirming to myself that the only way to write, the only way to be is me, and if you don’t like it, well… I guess that’s something you’re going to have to get over.
The alternative, of course, is for me to start taking my creative cues from Mary Shelley.