Recently, when Bob and I visited our sons in Los Angeles, Jason invited us to sit in on a recording session he was doing with two others. Never having sat in on a recording session and curious about the process, we quickly accepted the invitation.
Jason and singer/songwriter, Mandi, and a guitarist, Francesco, were working on trailer music for television and film. Jason and Mandi already sold one of their recordings to HBO that they used for a preview of the spring season’s shows.
What amazed and interested Bob and me about the HBO trailer and the trailer music Jason and friends were composing was that they created it without knowing how it would be used. The music for the HBO preview was composed by Jason and Mandi before HBO even entered the picture. They wrote it without knowing who would buy it or if anyone would. You might assume the images or film clips come first and then the music is composed around it, right? Wrong.
Mandi and Jason were singing and composing without any idea of what films or TV shows the music would eventually be paired with.
The idea boggled Bob’s mind. For me, it reinforced the awareness that so much of our creativity is a high wire act. Like this image of the 2 of Coins from Ciro Marchetti’s new Tarot Grand Luxe deck, you step out onto the high wire hoping you can keep your balance, holding tightly to your knowledge and experience while focused on what you what to create, taking steps forward each day, producing your work word by word, note by note, brush stroke by brush stroke.
You walk along that tight rope, hoping and trusting that you can successfully complete the work and that someone somewhere will find it worthy of their time and money, whether that someone is an agent, editor, film or television producer, reader or audience member.
Sometimes, you almost slip and fall. Others have, either because they lose focus or give up. Philippe Petit, the French high-wire artist who walked the high wire between the Twin Towers of New York in 1974 says that walking the high wire is a lot about your state of mind.
Constantly doubting yourself, focusing on the dip and sway of the wire instead of your posture and where your center of gravity is, is bound to lead to a fall. The same is true of your creativity. Failing to trust in your ability to create will have you focusing on the wrong thing, on the dip and sway and height of the wire rather than on your ability to align with it and keep moving forward.
Jason and Mandi focus on the goal, keep their knees bent, and stay positive about their abilities and the outcome. And they keep stepping out onto that high wire, often without a net.
Great role models. How can I do less?
So, I’ll swallow my fears and step out onto the high wire today…and tomorrow and every day.