A big source of inspiration to me has been the early career of Kevin Smith. The influence on my life of works like Clerks and Mallrats cannot be overstated. But it isn’t the movies themselves, which I do find to be right in my alley of comedy, but rather the entire creative process. The gumption of maxing out several credit cards, shooting in limited takes to conserve film, using friends as actors, and hoping it got picked up at a festival for distribution, all simply because he had never seen a movie that spoke to him about his friends is incredible. I wish I had that type of gumption. Or maybe I do, but not the talent. Which is more important is an internal debate I’ve had for years. I’ve come to the conclusion that work ethic is much more important than talent.
My friends and I have had several movies speak to us. For me, it was most notably Superbad and the TV show Freaks and Geeks. These two projects summed up high school life in a way I had never seen before and really showed what it was like for me to pass through that time. And this was important to me because I loved high school. I was remotely popular without being an athlete, I had a rock band that played dozens of gigs, I had lots of girlfriends, and a teal car that was all the rage. But despite all that, I really peaked in college. Going to design school was the first time I really got to be artistic and creative in ways I never had before, and I was good at it. I got into an even better band, even though that was short lived. And I still maintained good quality women.
It was odd though because I was really into Kevin Smith works about college aged kids when I was in high school, and I really got into Superbad and Freaks and Geeks, about high school kids, when I was in college. Partially due to when they were available, but also they happened to speak to me at that time. I think nostalgia in the later case and an urge to be mature in the former.
I always had the myth about myself that I was mature and advanced for my age. It is something I still have to shake off from time to time. I’m not good at it, by the way. I have yet to figure out if it is something that comes with age or work or both. All I know, I have put very little work into it and a lot of age. Maybe one day humility and honesty will be a trick in my quiver, but to this point I’m still shooting blanks.
One of the things Kevin Smith inspired me to do is be creative at all costs. Try to make your own thing and make it well despite evidence to the contrary. That’s why I’m starting this blog. It doesn’t require a huge commitment of resources, but hopefully it is entertainment for you and cathartic for me.