A couple of days ago I was binging youtube and suddenly came across small clips from the Howard Stern show. As you do, I watched about 20 of them before realising what I was doing and then quickly started playing some video games instead.. much more productive!
But two of the clips I saw really stuck with me and actually inspired me a great deal, especially since I’m notoriously impatient. One was an interview with Robert Downey Jr. and the other one was an interview with Hugh Jackman, both actors who are extremely succesful.
Here’s the clips in case you want to watch them before moving on (you do!!):
Hugh Jackman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXaQKxfyBks
Robert Downey Jr: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdj-zpcaqeE
The 1 In 10 Rule – Hugh Jackman
“1 in 10 things you do is a success, the rest will be a failure” is the advice Hugh was given at some point and what a great mindset that is. I don’t think you should take this too literally and actually expect that the tenth project you do to be an international hit, but instead learning to appreciate the patience these things take.
You never know if the game you’re working is going to be a hit or a complete flop but as the clip says “Actors Gotta Act”, so say yes to everything until you get your break.
I personally still wouldn’t recommend or use this as an excuse to working for free, unless you’re starting out and just want to get some experience in the field. But as long as the gig pays an amount you feel comfortable with, you should probably say yes unless you’re in a position to say no. Even if the project isn’t creatively stimulation or groundbreaking, just say yes… it’ll make you a much better sound designer in the long run.
In other words, us sound designers have to do sound design, and eventually with enough patience we’ll work on something that’ll propel us forwards.
So, keep working on the projects that you’re given, keep doing them to the absolute best of your ability, keep having patience and just do your job. Good things will happen, I promise you.
Getting The Jobs You’re Supposed To Get – Robert Downey Jr.
“I think everybody winds up getting the jobs they’re supposed to get”, that blew my mind when I first heard it. It ties nicely into what Hugh Jackman said before, because it’s all about accepting the path, the obstacles and having patience.
Think about all the shitty gigs, jobs and whatnot you’ve worked in your life, think about all the struggles you had to endure to get through those. But, then in turn think about what they taught you, how they changed you, how it made YOU better.
I can personally look back at most of those moments and say “Ahh yeah.. that’s when I learned discipline”, “That’s when I learned patience”, “That’s when I had to learn how to record dialogue”, “That’s when I had to design this weird system” etc. etc. etc.
Life has a funny way of putting us in “not-so-good” situations that in turn teaches us a lot. And that’s what “Getting the jobs you’re supposed to get” is really about (at least for me). Yeah, you might not be working on the projects you want right now, but I’m 100% sure that you are learning something from them, whatever that might be.
Having patience is key in these parts of our lives because they are so essential in forming us as people and professionals. Rushing means we might skip out on some valuable lessons that we might’ve needed. I know I have done that plenty of times before!
This Is Why Comparison Is Bad
This is why it’s almost impossible to compare ourselves to others. We each get our own path, our own gigs that teaches us different things and so forth.
Whenever you find yourself comparing yourself to other sound designers, just keep in mind that you might not know how to do really complex synth sound design or whatever, but that you have your own strengths.
Those strengths are built through repetition, patience, practice and taking the opportunities that come your way.
Take some time today and write down 3-5 things you regard as your strengths, notice how it makes you feel extremely confident in yourself when looking at those. They don’t even have to be sound design related.
So to sum up, keep in mind that most projects you do will be a failure but keep doing them and learning from them as much as possible, one day you will strike gold.
That’s it for today! Hope this gave you some much needed energy during these times! See you next week 🙂