I drove down to San Diego last night to have dinner with my dad. He had called me the day before to tell me he had a free night and that it would be nice to "catch up." It's a two hour drive but my schedule was free so I accepted the invite.
I could tell on the phone that he was worried about me. I had mentioned to my mom a week ago when she asked me how I was that I had "been better," and ever since it seems my entire family has been convinced that I'm depressed. My brother even called me yesterday to invite me to go wine tasting on Saturday in Santa Barbara with a "limo full of chicks."
My dad and I had a drink at the Marriot bar before heading off to dinner. I told him what I was up to- putting together a business plan for the feature film, meeting as many people as I could to line up potential investors, etc. He offered to have a look at the documents, which is fine because he usually has some good business insights. Finally, he asked me: "So... how are you surviving?" I wanted to lie and just tell him I was making good money doing video work, but instead I told the truth: "I think I'll be completely broke in about three weeks." He blinked. I shrugged. "It's no big deal, I've got some jobs to finish and some checks are on the way. I'll be fine." That last part was definitely a lie. Sure, I'll be fine for another month, but then what? And I'm talking to a guy who at my age had a house, a corporate job a wife and three kids. I don't even have a potted plant.
"You need a consistent source of income," he said.
Of course, he's right. To live month to month, check to check, random job to random job is not only risky and perhaps foolish, but it has become a downright nuisance. Being broke just isn't that fun, and though I can comfort myself with the idea that I have total control over my time and can do whatever I want, there's something to be said for stability too. It's no wonder so many people give up on their dreams. It just gets too hard and life is too expensive.
But the alternative? Giving up and living the rest of my life wondering what could have been gives me the shivers. Especially when you know that perseverance is part of what brings success in the movie business. You have to keep going because you won't get your "break" if you're not in the game. Look at all the screenwriters and directors who don't find any success before their 40s.
So I suppose finding a balance would be the right strategy. Marketing yourself so that there is steady video work that still gives you time to work on your own stuff seems to be the ideal scenario. There's plenty of money out there, I'm told, you just have to find it. You wouldn't believe what corporations spend on their boring in-house videos.
I have to give my dad credit: he didn't tell me to give up or that I was crazy or a fool. Just that I needed to get a "consistent source of income." So because I agree with him, that's what I'll do.
I wonder how much you get paid for directing porn....