I just got off of a two hour zoom call about a film I just starred in. What a weird thing to write, especially after the past couple years. Part of me had started to believe that my days of filmmaking were over. The days when I would shoot weekly skits by myself, or shorts with my friends had been left in the past. Burned in the wake of Winter Solstice and the train wreck it left behind.
It was as if that project had stolen from me, not only my desire to create, but also my faith in myself. It was a cross that weighed me down and stole from me that which used to bring me joy. If it wasn't for a call to work on a skit at North Lake and running into Justin, I might never have picked up a camera again. He put me to work, first editing music and event videos, and then filming them and eventually even directing. It was a weird time in my life when I wasn't moving anywhere near my goals in life, but at least I was being creative.
I don't know how much of a stretch it is to say it saved my sanity, if not my life. Creating gives me a sense of fulfillment. Without which I fall into a state of deep depression. Which is where I found myself just before the zoom call, but we can get to that in a minute. I didn't start writing this to talk about how my brief sojourn into the world of videography, but since I'm here, why not?
The time spent working on those projects kept me sane. It kept me creating and as long as I was working on them, I could tell myself I hadn't given up. It was a beautiful lie, but one I was desperate to hold on to. I even did some acting during this time in my life. I was still playing the roll of myself, even if I no longer felt the drive that had burned in me my whole life. That fire was still quenched. It was a problem that I felt in my very soul, but had no way to overcome. If it wasn't for the fallout of our final project together, I might never had gotten off that ride. For the first time in my life, I was making a living creating, it may not have been what I wanted, but it was art, and I was given a level of control. At least on the surface.
Alas, things came up, and I started to find the working relationship unsustainable. Not with the disrespect that was thrown my way. I had no choice but to walk away. As I did, I told truthfully, that I wished to spend more time working on my own projects. Blueroof productions had gone dormant. Had all but died. I wished to bring it back. For the first time since Winter Solstice I had a desire to create. I felt like myself again. I even had a new job that payed me more than enough for my needs. I was set.
Except that I quickly ran out of steam. I don't know what happened. I had all these ideas and as soon as I had the time to create them they vanished into thin air. I was back in my world of despair.
Which is about when I got the call to work on what I thought was a skit. An old friend asked me if I still acted, I told him sure. He put me in touch with the director. Before I knew what was happening I was doing a cold read and got the part. Before I knew it I was on set once again. No more music videos or filming events. No more corporate videos. I was back doing what I loved. I even managed to get some work on the film behind the scenes. I felt alive again in a way I hadn't in a long time. It was great.
As the filming came to an end, I started work on a short with my crew. It was a tiny project that could be filmed in a night. Yet once again, a project of mine came crashing down. It had to be called off, at least for a few weeks due to some of the cast. It happens, it's normally not a big deal, but it shook me. All the newfound confidence I had was gone. Once more I found myself lost in a sea of despair. I would come up with ideas of things I wanted to create and then sit around trying and failing to motivate myself to bring them to life. Ever since I could remember, I had always been a self starter. Somehow that part of me had died, and I have no idea how to bring it back.
Which brings me to the zoom call. I was sitting at my desk, working. An incredibly slow night, there was no money to be made, when my phone went off. Reminding me of the zoom call. I had missed the last one, due to me being in the homeland on vacation. That's a story for another time. So I figured that I should jump on this one and see what updates there were. Just a change of date for the screening, but it got me thinking about how much fun I always have on set. How much fun I have when I'm creating my own worlds in my writing. I don't know if I can ever recapture that joy and drive I had before Winter Solstice, but I know that unless I try. Unless I start forcing myself to create, I'll never know for sure. Sometimes motivation can't be found, it has to be created by sheer force of will. I just hope mine is strong enough.
Jonathan Gutheinz vents about everything under the sun.