It has been a while since I’ve written here. Yes, I said “I’ve” …dropping for today the device of writing “we” here at BluntFarce. It has always been “I” and that includes “the guys at Evil Twine” too. All me. It was never an attempt to sound bigger than I actually am, it was always about not wanting to appear to be a control freak or egomaniac. I am neither.
What I mostly am is someone who has amassed a collection of skills (mixed with admittedly varying degrees of talent) and I’m also a person who hates asking friends/people for favors. I never expect people to work for free, but it has been a long time since I’ve been in a position to pay anyone what they’re really worth. The DIY ethos is also central to who I am – I like doing things by myself, I like the challenge and the pressure; and in spite of my collaborative nature, when it comes to some creative things, I would rather shoulder all the blame or glory – whichever comes – myself for the things I do/create/make.
I have been dealing with some difficult realities for a while now, and they took their toll not just on my time and budget, but on my creative spirit. That is why this website has been little more than a placeholder for the past year+. Those realities aren’t unusual for a creative person in America in the second decade of the still-new century. I’ve been dealing with financial problems brought on by changes in my chosen field; longer than usual stretches of unemployment and working longer hours for less money when work is available.
I know I’m not alone in this struggle, most people I know are battling the same things, but still we isolate and remove ourselves from our creative circles and conversations until it really starts to feel like a solo trip through purgatory. I’ve had to relocate. I’ve had to sell prized possessions. I’ve had to recalibrate my plans/hopes, and yes, dreams for the future. These sorts of things make it difficult to feel peace or joy of any sort, so freeing the mind and getting into a creative headspace feels both impossible and, at times, frivolous. ….then not creating anything leads to feeling even worse, and then watching the things you were proud & excited about crumble makes everything seem even more exhausting and futile.
There have been losses…
Bud Fallbrook is dead.
Oh, he still lives on with four solid episodes on the BluntFarce YouTube Channel, but In spite of 100,000+ youtube views, and 3000 Facebook friends, he couldn’t survive these lean times. I created him using an online animation suite that recently decided to raise its prices from $8/month to $39/month (actually $59/month for the plan/options I would have needed.) …yes, more per month than the entire Adobe Creative Suite costs. An extra $40-60 a month might not have been a big deal a few years ago, but these days, it was a deal breaker.
Bud faced other obstacles too: If you scroll back through old posts here, you’ll see a loooong lull and nearly a year of radio silence on the subject of ‘new episodes.’ The truth (which I can finally talk about) is that the project did actually generate some interest from a production company. I was as cautious and professional as possible, but it didn’t matter: In the end, they tied up the project for nearly 18 months. In spite of their early enthusiasms, once they “had” the project they lost interest and then refused to either move the cartoon further, OR release it back to me. So, I had to let poor ol’ Bud sit and rot while waiting for the clock to run out on their option. …and then when it did, the animation website raised their prices and so it was curtains for Bud & his friends. I realize this is a pretty typical Hollywood story. We’re not supposed to take these things personally, but how can you not?
…and this was only one setback. I’ll spare you the others as I know these are all 1st world problems as the world seems to be spinning off it’s axis, and pretty much all forms of “entertainment” or, at the risk of sounding pretentious “art,” seem pretty frivolous and useless. Hmmmm, “art” does sound pretentious; let’s say “creativity” instead.
So I lost some spirit. I lost some hope. I shut down. It isn’t “writer’s block” if you just don’t give a damn anymore… It is the clash of reality and dreams and it makes a racket in your head, especially at 3:30am on yet another sleepless night. Stare at the ceiling all you want, you won’t find any answers there. Believe me, I’ve tried.
I’ve filled the creative void with some photo manipulation and hints of a “new podcast” …but even that wasn’t really going anywhere. I do have the skills and (most of) the equipment necessary to create a pretty kickass podcast, but no $$ to pay for a monthly audio hosting plan, no heart to write scripts, and no spirit to enjoy the maaaany hours of hands-on work it would take to bring a podcast to life – never mind the follow-on bazillions of hours it would take to promote the podcast to get it heard and seen.
Nearly 900 words into this post, so why am I writing all this now? Because whether I like it or not, whether I have hope or not, the truth is, not doing these things is going to kill me faster than anything else. I can’t help it.
Yesterday was the Autumnal Equinox and, while I’m no Druid or anything, I am one of those guys who has always known when the next full moon is, and when the next Equinox or Solstice is scheduled to happen. It isn’t religious exactly, but it has always been privately important to me. I’ve always imagined that, for most of human history (and pre-history) people divided their lives into the 28 day cycles of the moon, and the yearly tilts of the Earth’s axis – even though, for most of that history, humans didn’t know Earth had an axis… but you know what I mean. I’ve now re-committed to thinking in terms of “what can I get accomplished before the next full moon?” … I make to-do lists accordingly and, as hokey as this sounds, on the nights of the full moon, I go through my lists and see where I stand. This is something most of my friends/family don’t know about me. …and since none of them ever visits my various websites including this one, I’m guessing they’ll never find out.
…so I’ve been digging myself out of this hole – creatively and spiritually, if not yet financially, and I’ve forced myself to re-focus on what I can manage to do given my current standing, and I can get to work on a few things.
I’ve been cleaning up my YouTube channel and taking a deep dive into the many features YouTube now has to increase exposure and help creators get seen. Am I going to try to become one of those fresh-faced “Hiiiii Guys !!” shouting YouTubers? GOOD GOD! OF COURSE NOT… I am not delusional about my on-camera appeal, nor my likely demographic appeal either… but I am determined to push on.
My goal now is to start writing, recording and producing a Podcast to eventually put up on iTunes… so that when I CAN finally afford an audio hosting plan, I’ll have material ready to go… and I plan to augment that material with stuff on the youtube channel. What kind of stuff? Honestly, I have no idea. Yet.
I just know I have to do something.
That’s all I got today. 1200+ words of, I don’t know… apology? whining? written mostly for myself, to myself.
Stay strong, everyone.
…oh, and the next full moon is October 16th. So let’s all get to work.