A sunken feeling seemed to emanate out of my prostrate body and circle the whole bedroom, swooping up the venetian blinds and waltzing into the spider web-claimed corners of the ceiling. My mind was painfully erect, as if it had been mickeyed with an industrial over-strength of Viagra. I couldn’t stop thinking and I was only thinking of things that made me more upset. But, who thinks of anything else?
A cut-rate hack I was, making a go of something that I should have left for gone. Why do I want to make movies? I had a better shot of being a pool hustler, at least that only required interacting with a handful of people. My dearth of social confidence predisposes me as a writer, and I’m a good writer. Why aren’t I satisfied with that?
Why do I want to direct films? This dark night of the soul, a grandiose term that is apropos to my mental melodrama, has caught me insomniac and vulnerable. A man of 31 fearing about what his life legacy will be? We should all oversee the view of things from atop Maslow’s pyramid. But I am preoccupied with it more than most. I already feel like I have been too absent in my relationship with Emily, due to the never-ending run with (blue) devils I must undertake to keep from drowning. Every night I find myself up late, in the home office, chasing a muse and trying to make something out of her. “I’m no good,” I tell myself. Reaching for the stars is only good if you’re not standing on the top step of a ladder with banana peels strapped to your feet. Sometimes it feels like that’s what I’m doing.
I got myself so wrapped up in being creative that I have forgotten there are other ways to make a living. I fall in love too easily with my own art and get devastated when I see it through the merciless prism of someone else, someone dispassionate. Such is the life of an artist! If I settled in a safer line of work I would always wonder what it would be like to live as I am now. My gestation period is only in its infant stage right now. When I emerge from the cocoon there will be a whole new set of challenges to face me. I am in school to learn and to make connections, and it is the latter with which I have the hardest time.
I do not want to end up a one-man film crew. A director needs to be so many things. He needs to be a football coach capable of rousing people with his strength and command. He needs to be a sensitive soul, too. What we’re talking about here is effort. I prescribe more hard work. My feelings of being a director are beyond dreams. They are obsession wrapped up in ego. I may not be able to be a director but I can’t not be a director. To achieve glory I have to confront my fears. Everyday life rarely seemed this Greek.
I always believed that you can’t be a writer for a living. You need something write about. Nothing like pain. It’s good subject matter. I’ll try to forget for now, and see if I can get some work done. This is the hour when I get ideas. This is when I make sense of the films I am editing. I have everything at my disposal when I sit in front of the computer. Editing a movie is a lot like writing. It’s safe respite from fieldwork.
It’s a learning process. But it’s hard to see that when you’re in the middle of the bad times.
– Philip Brubaker ’13