In anything that you do, whether it's a hobby or your profession, it's important to find "your people". It's not merely about finding like-minded people. But, more importantly, people that get you. Those unique friends and collaborators who understand what you are going for and enjoy what you offer. And, guess what, not everybody is going to get you and that's a good thing.
Now, of course, this all seems obvious. We learned this in elementary school, right? I guess the revelation for me came because I realized that not only had I been striving to find "my people", but on top of that I was striving to find all of the people. Some of us (for better or worse) want to be liked, and we want to be liked by everyone. Not only is this impossible, but it isn't worth it. Something that is liked by everyone is probably not that interesting. It's probably middle-of-the-road and, well, sort of boring. And as an artist, if we make something that is aiming to be liked by all, we probably aren't making anything special.
So we specialize. We cultivate other people who inspire us and challenge us. Take Joss Whedon, for instance. People refer to the "Whedonverse" for a reason. Over his career, Joss has found actors and collaborators that inspire and enrich his work and naturally he chooses to work with them. Judd Apatow, too. He has found a troupe of funny guys (and some women) who inhabit his films and understand what he is trying to do. I could go on... Scorcese and his love of Leonardo DiCaprio, Wes Anderson, Woody Allen.
I'm incredibly grateful that I found a number of wonderful collaborators in film school, and continue to find great artists through classes and on jobs. I should also admit that I've met a lot of lovely people who aren't my people, too.
Here's to finding your people, stumbling along the way, and making great work!
Check out this article on Joss Whedon a
nd the people that make up his Whedonverse!
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