Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Learn From This Woman.

The difference between pizza and your opinion is that I asked for pizza.

But Amy Poehler can chime in any time. I’m nearing the end of her book, Yes Please, and it’s easily one of the best books about having a career in show business. Here’s a passage I really like:

I once was having dinner with an old friend when I was on “SNL”. Baby Mama was coming out and I was in the middle of one of those weird press pushes where your face is on taxis and you’re doing talk shows all the time. My friend went on and on about how weird that was, and asked me if I “could believe it.” “Yes,” I said. I had worked for over a decade to get to this moment. “Can you?” I asked him. 

But I was lucky. Your career and your passion don’t always match up. Plenty of talented people don’t have the careers they want. Plenty of untalented people make millions and make movies. Hard work doesn’t always matter. You can be the best at making contacts and going after jobs, but then suddenly you want it too much, and everybody feels how bad you want it and they don’t want to give it to you. Even at six years old, my son is learning to stop paying attention to the toy he wants. He knows that if he lets on how bad he wants it, his four-year-old brother will snatch that shizz up in a hot second. Pretending not to want something can work. 

The Buddhists call this healthy detachment. Too often we are told to visualize what we want, and cut out pictures of it to create vision boards, and repeat it like a mantra. Positive affirmations are written on our tea bags. I am introducing a new idea: try to care less. Practice ambivalence. Learn to let go of wanting it. Treat your career like a bad boyfriend. 

Here’s the thing: your career won’t take care of you. It won’t call you back or introduce you to your parents. Your career will openly flirt with other people while you are around. It will forget your birthday and wreck your car. It will blow you off it you call it too much, and it’s never going to leave its wife. Your career is banging other people and everyone knows but you. 

But let me make a distinction between career and creativity. Creativity is connected to your passion, that light inside that drives you. That joy that comes when you do something you love. That voice that tells you, “I like this. Do this again. You are good at it. Keep going.” Your creativity is not a bad boyfriend. It is a really warm, older Hispanic lady who has a beautiful laugh and loves to huge. If you are even a little bit nice to her, she will make you feel make you feel great and maybe cook you delicious food.

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