Monday, November 07, 2005

Last night, I went to dinner with Jack at the Baltimore Museum of Art. I enjoyed the first meal in awhile where I felt that I had eaten way too much. However, it was well worth it because the food was good, as was the atmosphere. You can't beat eating among art and knowing that Monet's London paintings are hanging just one floor above you. To our left, three large groups ate and talked, all dressed well and happy. I asked the waiter what was going on, and he said that it was a rehearsal dinner. Jack and I spent some time trying to pick out the bride and groom to be. It added a positive energy that was infectious.

Anyway, we got into a wistful conversation about why I'm still dissatisfied with my accomplishments on the large scale. Oddly, I'd gotten into the same conversation with a coworker who is currently being coached by the creator of the show to be a writer, and has done some writing for the show already. We all have our measuring sticks to our accomplishments, I guess. Ironically, I've been enjoying watching the coaching he's been receiving and understand the logic of the things that he is given to do in the order that they are given. On his part, it's hard to be given just a little bit when you're among people who are doing what you want to do, whereas I see him in an incredible learning environment. He does too, but the wait is hard, which is understandable when you are ready to go for the whole thing and oh, so close.

Perhaps it is the change of seasons, but Jack and I had this same talk. He sees me as having incredible experience throughout my life and career, not to mention a top notch art education. He went through the people that I've met in my life and the things that I've done. And yes, I don't lose sight of that. I know, not many people were assistant to Mikhail Baryshnikov when they were nineteen years old. In fact, I may be the only one in the world. Few people have had BMW patent one of their ideas, even less who weren't car designers. I was just a researcher with a great fucking idea. Few have worked on a team building a concept 7-series BMW at all. I have so many other accomplishments like that, and while I understand this and am very proud of them, it's hard sometimes to look back and feel like I've flown under the radar for all that time. I'm ready to take a risk with my ideas, and not doing so has been the source of that frustration and dissatisfaction. Especially, watching others comfortably flying above me. I'm not talking about doing what they are doing, but I want to be flying on that level doing my own thing. It's not writing, as for some reason that comes easy to me. Not just the writing part, but putting my neck out there for work. I don't get nervous when I'm assigned writing jobs, and once again, I've done them for top entertainment companies. I just start going and fly comfortably with that flock at a high altitude. I forget it's for money, and just get into the assignment.

What I've been frustrated with is that my experience has been working under someone else, and those accomplishments are buried under their name or company. I'm an entrepreneur at heart, and an incredibly hard worker, but when it comes to my own ideas I forget how to get from one step to the next. Now, if someone were to ask me for advice on their own projects, I'm a great information source. However, when I get to my own projects, that resourcefulness turns into a stopping point. With my work on this show, it's the first time I've been credited by name on my contributions. Still, it's under someone else's creation. One, by the way, that I'm thrilled and proud to be a part of, but the latter thought comes up when holding up that measuring stick.

So, under the Monet and among the chatter, we got to talking about how to get me from one step to the next, and he came up with the idea of me talking to a very accomplished friend of his who has been through the steps that I want to go through. I'm ready for action and need to take that risk. This person is a Harvard graduate, but Jack, a Cornell graduate told me not to hold that against him. He told me he would call this person and arrange a lunch, so that I can finally work on getting some concrete answers. My ideas have been well received before or created in some way while I've sat on my ass working for other people. It's time I stamp my name to them and get them rolling. For one of them, I even created a bang-up presentation. Time to get printing on that color printer, I guess.

And about that measuring stick, I don't use it to measure myself against other people. I use it as a tool to ask me how I'm doing to measure myself against my own potential. Others around me who are operating at their best are a reminder for me to ask myself every now and then what I'm doing to achieve that.

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