It’s time for some real talk from one of my absolute favorite human beings: Mr. Stephen Colbert. He recently did an interview with Playboy (for the articles, I swear!) where he wasn’t “in character,” and his analysis of his character and show made for a fascinating read. What comes through more than anything is Colbert’s intelligence and I relished this little snapshot into his true personality and perspective, especially during the parts of the interview that were more conversational and not quite so focused on Colbert’s character, show, and career. Like this quote where Mr. Colbert shares his feelings on cults (seriously.):
This is one of those things that I’m keeping on my desktop for the time being, because he’s right about so many things. People can be DICKS and that makes it really hard to stay even-keeled on your creative journey. You can write for someone for months/years, work your ass off for them, expend all your creative energy on a project that isn’t your own, and you will get screwed by the people and organizations you trusted and believed in. It will make you doubt everything.
As I tackle some of these thoughts/issues in my day-to-day life, the same comment comes up time and time again from a variety of sources: this is what you can expect in the entertainment field. Projects fall through. People flake out. Funding causes issues. Disappointment will abound in more ways than you can imagine. This is a fact I “should come to terms with.”
So what can you do? Can you trust others to help you with your creative pursuits? In such a competitive arena, is everyone just out for themselves? Should we all just join cults and enjoy blissful obliviousness? (I did briefly consider doing this after college…)
I don’t have answers to these questions but I try to remain optimistic. I’ve worked with people who are incredibly creative and successful, but also make a point to be nice and generous to everyone they come across. Kevin Smith, Romany Malco, Key & Peele – I was crazy nervous to meet and work with them but they ended up being some of the nicest personalities I came in contact with. And even in a Playboy interview, Stephen Colbert comes across as kind, curious, and grateful.
There are good people out there – I know this. Sometimes its just good to have a JPEG reminder of that fact on your desktop, you know? For all those moments you’re slamming your head against your computer screen while you try to perfect all the elements of the web series you’re dreaming up.
Click Here to read Stephen Colbert’s interview on Playboy.com
(click thoughtfully depending on your setting)