Sunday, December 16, 2007

No one needs to pay you

From my earliest memories about what profession I'd like to have, I wanted to write. And the troublesome thing to me was always that I may never get anyone to pay me for doing what I love. I'm 31 so when I was growing up, blogs and the like didn't exist. We were still living in the days of big blue chip companies dominating the globe. "New media" as it's known today was just a dream inside the imaginations of a handful of people.

Today, I can confidently say that I am a writer. I don't have a magazine gig. I don't write for television of film. You can't see my work in a theatre. I never signed a contract and I don't have an agent. No one gives me assignments. And it's no longer just tucked away in some old journal that even I'll never go back and review, much less have anyone else read. It's out in the world, in this wonderful thing called the blogosphere and I write whatever I'd like to write about. I do what I want, when I want, which is really the only way I am capable of living my life. I have a disdain for authority or anything that hampers personal freedom and creativity and I am largely a contrarian at the mere mention of phrases like "well, you HAVE to do it this way." I actually don't HAVE to do anything, and I won't.

I used to be weird for feeling this way. Now, it's become the way of the world. With user-generated content growing by leaps and bounds by the minute, the limits that have been placed on our lives are being ripped down in the blink of an eye. Agents, creative unions, casting directors, TV networks, producers, and film studios used to rule the roost. And while they still wield some power, it is largely dwindling to a modicum of what it used to be. We are very quickly becoming the "take charge of our lives" generation. Contrarians rejoice, we have worked our own way out of the job of being contrarians. (And not a moment too soon. Being a contrarian is exhausting work and I have other things I'd like to be doing!)

Last night I attended the Mustaches for Kids event at the Montauck Club in Park Slope. A hilarious and worthwhile event. The only nosh available was pickles by Bob from McClure's pickles. ( When not in the kitchen whipping up his grandmother's recipes, he's acting and writing. He was telling my friend, Monika, and I about a new webtv show he's on - It's entirely created by his friends from college who live in Williamsburg. They didn't create it to make money, they did it for the love of creating. And here's the good news: they have 4 million people who have watched the show on-line, the audience is global, SAG is contacting, and Michael Eisner's company is interested in investing in the project. The paradigm of entertainment is being torn down and built up by the talent rather than being dictated to them.

These kinds of success stories by the underdog brighten my day. It is indeed a brand new world. Focus on being great and creating your life, and the money will follow.

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