locked until 08.15.04 - YouTube link added 02.06.09
9:25 PM, Thursday August 5th, 2004:
This is indeed tremendous in the annals of "Adam's Mental Health". A week ago today was the heartbreak of the phone call to Jess, and since that moment - I have soared. I have had good day after good day with zero depression. I feel like I'm on top of the world...every day. Each day that passes I'm in a better mood. There are no ups and downs. I have never known who I was more than at this very moment. I feel like I'm making the best lemonade anyone has ever tasted. So much so it feels as if I'm manipulating life, rather than reacting to it. This poses an interesting question that I touched on a bit in the fake "college course" entry:
Am I manipulating things for inspiration? Am I quicker to embrace the hardships of a divorce, simply because I know it will create good art? On the surface, fucking of course not...but it seems almost innately "Adam" to just explode creatively and productively during these moments in my life, so is it a mechanism within me to gravitate towards the chaos? It's a completely unanswerable question right now, but it's one that I ponder from time to time. It's what you also run into when you're directing this "journey" as well as starring in it. It comes together so well sometimes, it seems contrived. The Breaking Point video is a great example of that. I had to be "acting" in that shot. Right? I mean, it's too planned out, I obviously wanted to set up a "here's a pensive Adam shot". But that really isn't true. I brought the camera with me because I was going to G4 studios and thought it might be a good idea. As I was driving home, I actually put my CD in and listened to "Impossible". I realized that my words were now for Jess as I was playing "Burg" in this divorce. I was zoning out and I truly wondered what I looked like driving these winding roads listening to the most depressing song ever written. So I just started taping.
So the moment is as genuine as it gets...but then I take it into post, where it gets refined a bit. I do the color effects, put it in slow motion...add the "memory" scenes... I even look up when they come up. It becomes to the viewer - almost a contrived moment. It's too good. It fits too well with the entry. The whole thing seems orchestrated. Mainly because I don't know of anyone who would ever post things as honestly as I do, and I also don't know of anyone who would take the time to actually produce a video for the entry as I've done for nearly 5 years. So it goes back to the original question. Am I manipulating my life and the people in it for art? Or am I simply taking all the inspiration in life and creating art from it?
I'll tell you what a huge part of it really is: technology. I can do all of this by myself. 20 years ago this would've been impossible on so many levels. First of all, physically taping yourself in a car at that angle would not only require more than one person, I don't believe without attaching an apparatus to the outside of the car, you could've ever fit those big-ass camcorders on the dash. Secondly, the money it would've cost to do any sort of effects and music would have run into the tens of thousands and taken a tremendous amount of time. And finally, all this for a 60 second piece? How would you justify that? What would be the forum for distribution? The internet has absolutely changed the art world. This Jounrey could not have existed, hell even 10 years ago. I really think it's the advancement of technology that makes some things in this journey come off as a bit staged. Grabbing a camcorder, shooting something, and editing it with effects and music is now as easy as buying a canvas and trekking to a mountaintop to paint. In fact the latter would probably take longer. And the cost? You can get a camcorder with firewire inputs for $300. A computer to do everything you need for about $500 (yet people are still persuaded to spend thousands on high-end macs, which are "better" but jesus people). And the basic editing software usually comes with the computer! $800 buys you what would easily have been $50,000 just two decades ago. What that means for artists is unlimited.
And what it all means for me as an artist, is that I'm fulfilled. I'm extremely proud of the thoughts and songs within last month. It is the essence of what makes me tick: capturing the moment. So many songs and especially videos are trying to REcapture the moment (if there even is one in most of today's music) and what I've produced is the moment. The "Where are you?" video is me singing the lyrics for the first time, and it's taped about 20 minutes before I get the nerve to end the cycle for me and Jess. It's things like that that make me think a DVD of all these songs throughout the first 5 years of "The Journey" would sell in the mainstream. If a company believed in it, and hyped it correctly - people would buy it. I mean, no one is doing this. I think people would be attracted to this type of art. Then again, not to be completely elitist...people want a finished, glossy, professional product. There's a reason companies spend MILLIONS on music videos, and even I have the urge to "finish" some of these songs. But in this world of "Reality TV" being anything but real...I think it would be refreshing. Who knows. The art will keep coming whether anyone likes it or not. Heh.
I mean how many times can I say art and artist in an entry. Can you tell I'm not struggling with calling myself the A-word anymore? It's like I've struggled with it forever because anyone can call themselves an artist, and I don't want to be "anyone". But I'm now seeing that I really am a succssful, productive artist. Goddamn Maddisen helped me. I touched on this in another entry, but I never really got into it. Maddisen was the actress that I spoke to while struggling with this and she just really put a mirror up to my face and showed me exactly who I was. A line that sticks out is:
"So many people I know who call themselves artists are ever-waiting for someone to pay them to do their art: 'when will someone let me create!', and Adam - not only are you doing it, you're doing more than most people do in a lifetime. You're creating unique stage shows, videos, songs, chronicling everything - you are indeed the most productive, successful and talented artist I've ever known."
LOL - I may have added a bit to that "line" - ha! But the point was I create without anyone funding me. I never use an excuse to not continue the journey. Ever. There is no "Oh I would do this, but I don't have the..." I don't do that. Yeah, there are projects I want to do that I can't because of time/money - but I always create something. I'm always writing (can you tell?), I'm always sharing my experience with others...it is as natural as breathing to me. That is what an artist does. You know, someone once told me it didn't matter because everything I was doing was masturbatory. That person never was and never will be an artist. At the time that line hurt. At the time I was so worried about "making it" that I somehow thought creating videos and songs only for this journal was a waste of time. It isn't. It's my release. It's what keeps me grounded. It's what keeps me honest.
So to anyone out there that has creative tendencies, try subscribing to my religion of productivity. You might be surprised at how it effects your life. Don't worry so much on how "good" it is, just do it. Write it, sing it, and more than anything - KEEP IT! Log it! Be able to look back on it in a year and see what you were then, and where you're going to now. Keep a sketch book, date the drawings. Film what you see, film what moves you, and then back it up on tape. Stop constantly worrying about how you'll make money off of it: that's an entirely different journey. Continue to find yourself and the rest will become what it was meant to become - just keep creating.
Alright, gotta go build that wall tomorrow...as fast as I'm moving, it still seems to take forever. Hey, at least I got to stand on my first FLOOR today. ;-)