Sunday, October 6, 2013

"Passion First" vs. "Money First" People & Things You Don't Say to Creative People

It feels like there's two different mindsets among people in life. There are the people who are first motivated by passion and then there are the ones who are first motivated by money. It's the type of thing that leads to huge conflicts, especially when you deal with creative people.

Living in both of these worlds, I have no idea how we can distinguish why particular people have this mindset. I do have my theories on the "money first" types, though. First off, not seen those people confront death in their immediate family at an early age. I became more motivated to follow my passion when my brother in law died suddenly at 21 when I was 22 and trying to get accepted to law school somewhere outside the Southeast.

Second, I haven't seen those people really have a passion for anything. You get a sense that they're just going to slug it out at any old job paying enough for their purposes, have no real enjoyment in anything & then die sooner or later. For me, that's depressing as hell. At least do something you like, even if it's in your spare time.

Third, the true "money first" types are more than happy to tell the "passion first" people to try shoehorning themselves into holes that simply do not fit them for whatever reason. I have had to confront this in my own home, which no one should have to deal with.

Finally, the "money first" types hate their lives & what they do. Perhaps they recognize the bleakness of their own existence that I mentioned. Unfortunately, I've seen quite a few operating under the old "misery loves company" umbrella & try taking everyone around them down with them. It's these types I have been excising from my life since that shit doesn't work in modeling, where I plan to utilize as many opportunities as I can get.

Dealing with a lot of personal issues lately. At least I did find out my immediate family is still with me but I'm not so sure my husband is truly with me. He makes me wonder at times, especially with certain comments I've gotten recently. For instance, he apparently thinks I sit on my ass & do nothing all day since I don't have some full time job that provides me with a W-2. I look at opportunities & take advantage of networking while he outright told me "networking is a waste of time" and refuses to do it. My husband is a bit of a misanthrope; he'd even admit it to you. He's not the type to go to fashion events, while that's totally my thing. In some ways, I missed out on things since I lived in NC and never got to do entertainment stuff until I graduated from law school and moved to NYC.

I could deal with his having different interests from me and having other friends. That's fine and I think that's healthier. We don't need to be attached at the hip; no couple should aspire to that. Just remember that if you get married, your spouse's problems become your problems. I had no clue just how much this was the case until my husband became outright despondent over his job situation & started taking it out on me. It seems he falls in the "money first" crowd while I'm part of the "passion first" crowd.

I wasn't actually part of the "passion first" crowd until later on in my life. I think maybe it started with my brother in law's death or when I learned there was such a thing as entertainment law. Yeah, I think it was when I learned there was such a thing as entertainment law. I knew I would never be happy in the average law firm setting and had no desire to kill myself to be number one in my law school class. I also knew the power of relationships and "you can't take it with you" with my brother in law's passing and watching my sister's reaction to it while trying to take care of their son by herself. I vowed that if I ever found a love of my life (which I felt didn't exist), I wasn't going to let some law firm break up my relationship. I figured once I found the love of my life, it was going to be a set "forever & ever" thing. Who likes dealing with divorce & all the mess of break-ups?

But when you're dealing with 2 different mindsets and 2 different levels of ambition, you're going to have serious problems. As an older, wiser person I have to say don't marry someone who doesn't have some ambition unless you lack it yourself. I'm hyper-ambitious so being around people who aren't drives me crazy. Ambition seems to be one of those things like financial attitudes: they say if you're a saver, don't marry a spendthrift & vice versa.

My husband is from a "money first" family so I feel some concern that this attitude has rubbed off on him way too much for me. My family has its own flaws but no one ever told me I couldn't bother having dreams, ambition or sights outside my hometown. Eventually, they stopped having any moments of doubt in me when I said I was going to do something. I have continued on my not seeing people in my husband's family since their comments to him since I refuse to go anyplace where I am not welcome & have yet to receive an apology from anyone. What's the point in that? None of these people are co-workers, pay my salary or are sharing public transit with me. To my mind that means there's no point in putting up with their bullshit or disrespect. We'll see how my husband handles this & if he respects what I told him long ago about how I would not put up with abuse from in-laws (it was a chief reason I refused to get married).

Call me jaded, an old soul in a young body, whatever but I'm done putting up with people or situations in my personal life that I don't have to (and family is not a "have to" thing in my book since I am not raising children; even if I were, I think we should teach children not to put up with emotional abuse or rudeness from people who are supposedly there for you all the time & your #1 cheerleaders). I'd rather be done with that relationship and emotional tie than deal with negative feelings and situations arising from certain people. Common parlance would call this "cutting toxicity out of your life." That shit is toxic to an entertainment career as well & I know it would mess me up in other ways. Goes back to the wanting people around me who are going to bring out my best, not my worst.

So you "money first" types can have more peaceful relations with the "passion first" camp, here are things you shouldn't be saying/doing to those people if you want to actually be in their lives:

1. Implying that their careers are invalid because they aren't earning a paycheck for it. I've done quite a bit that means far more than a paycheck & has boosted my industry reputation.
2. Asking when they're going to "get a real job."
3. Assuming that if they are at home, they don't actually do anything. I'll have you know that I spend most of my days on the computer following up on messages, networking, reading up on current events, writing, looking for paying work, updating my social media (since if you're going to have fan pages & a website, you have to update those on occasion), doing legal work, organizing my e-mail/files/etc. Then there are those domestic tasks I'm asked to do like dishes, paying bills, feeding cats, moving the car, figuring out dinner, etc.
4. Equating being at home with being a leech. A leech is someone who does NOTHING; a leech doesn't network or go to events or try to stay current on anything. Vacation is a concept unheard of to the self-employed & definitely to many creatives.
5. Calling them lazy or unambitious (implying it also counts). Let me tell you something: it's damn hard to follow your passion if you work in this business. The majority of people working in this industry take far lower pay in exchange for doing something they love. Serious actors and other creative types constantly spend time on their craft with classes, shows, networking, etc. Ask yourself how much networking YOU have done lately. Let's see how many contacts you've forged.

Oh, and every career advice article out preaches the gospel of networking & tells us that "it's not what you know, it's who you know." The people who have the contacts win out every time.

Let's also not forget the fact that creatives think outside the box & reach out to people in ways you'd never bother with since you're stuck in the conformity box. I, for example, don't go around being needy or trying to impress any potential employer. As far as I'm concerned, you need to be selling me on a job just as much as you expect me to sell to you.

6. Pestering the person because they haven't made money after a certain set time period. Entertainment industry success is a marathon, not a sprint. Tons of major movies took years to get made (for instance, Avatar took 10 years).

No creative I know thinks any of these acts are cool. I know I don't. It just makes me lash out & want to tell you to go fuck yourself. It also leads me to brand you as a jealous hater. Yes, we know the people who do this shit are jealous since they don't have a clue of the big picture & would rather drag us down to their level.

Now I'm not speaking of people who were told by industry pros that they have no skill at something or need to do something & just won't bother. You have to be a little realistic if you're going to work in the creative field & please, have some talent or go develop it. I'm talking about people who have some talent & a track record, who have signs that they should be doing this.

The irony is every single thing I've been doing in recent times circles back to this industry. I even got a recent paid freelance job with someone who works in this industry. If you read all my stories about how this industry comes in even at the most mundane times and when I'm doing something completely unrelated to entertainment, you'd have to notice the obvious and glaring signs in front of you. I already saw them & decided not to ignore it like some would have me do (i.e. people who aren't my friends & who I most likely didn't choose).

We'll see how things go & I did decide to look into marriage counseling (since some of this is being piled on top of all the BS I've already had to deal with in recent months, which I think is a shitty thing to do to someone). However, the old fire is definitely still there & I feel the same as I did in college i.e. NO ONE & NOTHING will stop me from doing what I want to do. I also won't be violating my own principles or things I said I'd never tolerate & that's just the plain truth. My sister decided to look into it to deal with her own marriage & as far as I know, things are okay with her. Therapy is helping me, after all.

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