It's been a long exhausting week. I've undertaken possibly the biggest project of my life to date, and it's been a truly rewarding experience. As a perfectionist, it's rare for me to undertake something and not regret doing a million things, but I can say that for the most part (you'll never get me to admit 100%), I have no regrets. Like I did 10 years ago, I took a large bet on myself, and now it's time to see how the ping pong balls fall.
Ironically, so much of my greatest achievements have been birthed from a source of pain and introspection, what went wrong, what I could've done differently and the meaning of all that has transpired in my life. It reminds me of when Agent Smith in the Matrix tells Morpheus that human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. Does it take adversity to create greatness? Perhaps. The question in my mind remains however: does greatness overshadow living a happier (and perhaps less "meaningful") life?
I can't tell you the answer to that, I'm still living the life that I have and am trying to get to the answer of that as I do so. So much of what I feel fulfilled about undertaking this project was the fact that it was better than standing still, trying to wait for the world to change. There is so much value in making a move without knowing how it'll turn out rather than being paralyzed with fear, as my perfectionism has constantly done throughout my life. There's no way to get the answers unless you look for them yourself. I think I'm beginning to understand the concept of "seek and ye shall find" a bit better.
My parents flew in this past week and they were happy to see me active and working hard towards a goal. They fretted a bit over the genesis of why I was doing what I was doing, and noted that most of the things I did seemed to stem from an insecurity in my own identity. They wondered if they had failed as parents not equipping me with a firm sense self before impinging on me the importance of a survival mentality, of doing whatever it took to succeed. They essentially told me I need to have thicker skin about things, and just move on with life. There's no need to make a song or story about every so-called tragedy in my life.
And in some ways, they're right. My life is far from tragic. It's actually quite the opposite in a sense that the amount of actual tangible suffering has more been on an emotional and psychological level rather than on a physical one. It's the type of suffering one might characterize as originating from bouts of "affluenza", when I start creating things in my mind to worry about when in reality the things I have to worry about are far beyond even #firstworldproblems. Who cares if you didn't have friends in elementary school when disease, war and other things are killing people halfway around the world?
My dad called me today after landing back in New York yesterday. After watching me undertake the project and reading my script, he concluded that I might be a nihilist. I wouldn't say he's too far off, I've always somewhat lived life with a sense of melancholy and hopelessness, concluding that most things in life are meaningless when looking at things from an infinite time perspective. On the other hand, my actions reflected a tenuous grasp of a strand of hope that what I do does disturb the universe in some way, that there is a general meaning behind all of it.
Making this pilot has been my way of clinging onto that strand, and pulling it as far as it goes. I can only make the leap, and see how far the rabbit hole goes. And so I leap, without knowing where it will lead me. I semi-joked with a friend of mine that if this didn't provide some sort of closure, I'd probably just jump off One World Trade in New York and film that and posthumously make a statement about life, which I guess is another sort of leap. Semi, in the sense that I have no idea what I'm going to do with my life if it's not acting or in entertainment. Go back to ripping off the mob? No, no, no...I need a Batman to complete me.
What drove me to the point of making the leap? Tune in next time on...gaktown.