Here’s something I’ve lifted from my own personal blog that I want to share with you.
It’s a letter Patton Oswalt wrote for Comedians & the Executives (aka the Gatekeepers). I read them and I totally get it.
I’ve spent most of my life finding my way, learning and working to be an accomplished Actor and along the way, I realised, I needed to be a Producer too. Reading Patton’s letter to ‘Comedians’ really rang true to me. Just replace all the ‘comedian’ references to ‘actor’ and it felt like he was talking to me!
His letter also issues a challenge to the execs which pretty much sums up what I want to achieve as a Producer. It’s awesome.
If you have some time, take 10 mins to read the full letters. Otherwise, you can check out my little summary below.
Here are some excerpts:
“…“lucky” and “given.” Those are two very very dangerous words for a comedian. Those two words can put you to sleep, especially once you get a taste of both being “lucky” and being “given.” The days about luck and being given are about to end. They’re about to go away.”
“What I mean is: Not being lucky and not being given are no longer going to define your career as a comedian and as an artist.”
Patton invested and executed a project called “The Comedians of Comedy”. At the end of it, he was, in his own words, “I was exhausted, I was in debt, and I wound up with a wider fanbase of the kind of people I always dreamed of having as fans. And I built that from the ground up, friends and people I respected and was a fan of.”
As an Actor, I’ve done my fair share of moaning and complaining. I am no saint. But hey, I gave up that shit a long time ago. I’ve been fairly lucky as some opportunities have been given to me. However, the day I decided to rely less on luck being given to me and went out making up my own luck – things got infinitely better.
And here’s the challenge he posed to the Execs (aka, the Gatekeepers):
“I want you, all of the gatekeepers, to become fans. I want you to become true enthusiasts like me. I want you to become thrill-seekers.…This isn’t a threat, this is an offer. We like to create. We’re the ones who love to make shit all the time. You’re the ones who like to discover it and patronize it support it and nurture it and broadcast it. Just get out of our way when we do it.…”
In Malaysia, being a kick-ass actor/writer/etc is not enough. Because then you are still relying a lot on being given opportunities. Another major problem is : we don’t have enough Execs / Gatekeepers willing to take the chance on being true fans and trusting the talents they hire themselves!
I want to be that Producer who is a fan of the talents I work with. I’ll help make their visions come true because they are the ones who like to create and make shit all the time. I want to be that guy who gets to be a part of something friggin’ awesome by setting up a platform of opportunities. Then I just get out of the way and let them do their thing.
Drop me a message if you have a friggin’ awesome film project you want to make. ‘Cause if you read all the way to here, I’m pretty sure you could be someone I’d want to work with.