Tuesday, March 2, 2010

/rant: Do It Your Goddamn Self

The saying goes “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” I'd like to amend that: if you want something done at all, do it yourself. No one else in the scene owes you anything. Someone else's success doesn't guarantee that you'll be swept along with them even if they're a close friend. If you want something, it's your responsibility to make it happen. If it requires skills you don't possess, it's up to you to learn them or coordinate the people who do. If it requires changing how you do things or being nice to people you don't like, tough luck. No one is going to do your work for you, and if they do, you're a douche for letting them.

In case you're asking yourself “Hells, am I really that guy?,” I've prepared a short quiz.

1. Your band doesn't draw large crowds.
  • a. Complain about all the Nickelback fans in this town.
  • b. Talk shit about self-serving promoters behind their backs.
  • c. Solicit honest criticism on your music and stage presence then make the necessary changes, maybe even scrapping that four hour guitar solo.
  • d. Work out who your ideal audience is to better target your promoting efforts and then work your ass off trying to attract them.

2. Promoters aren't booking your favorite bands or genres.
  • a. Get drunk and bitch all night to whoever is unlucky enough to sit next to you.
  • b. Stay home, drink Corona, and watch Antiques Roadshow with your cat.
  • c. Have reasonable and sober conversations with promoters to offer your suggestions and – more importantly – find out their views.
  • d. Book the shows yourself and work your ass off promoting them.

3. No one is hiring you as an artist/photographer/designer.
  • a. Complain about all the Banksy fans in this town.
  • b. Put your logo stickers up everywhere, especially if it covers other peoples' work.
  • c. Solicit honest criticism, work on your weak spots, and constantly try out new styles and mediums.
  • d. Make business cards, improve your website's design (you have one, right?), and work your ass off at appearing more professional.

4. Your movie project has been delayed for a year because your friend with the really good camera moved/had a baby/isn't talking to you anymore.
  • a. Continue sharing your almost-was sob story anyone who will still listen.
  • b. Continue telling the actors and others that you should start filming next week.
  • c. Realize you could have afforded a similar camera yourself if you had only budgeted for it.
  • d. Make do with what you have and start doing smaller projects instead of putting all your creative eggs in one basket.

Answer Key: If you answered mostly a's and b's, you're a twat and you're not helping anyone, not even yourself.

-B. Helms

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