March 02, 2013
It’s funny how life turns out sometimes.
Once upon a time, I had a dream. No, it wasn’t to be a writer, or a producer, or a director—having done all to varying degrees of success—it was to open a little bakery.
Nothing grand. Something manageable. Fun. With booze.
It was something I had kept in the back of my mind for Some Day. You know, in case the other thing, the Artist thing; the real thing I was doing with my life didn’t pan out.
And then it didn’t.
When failure came knocking at my door, it knocked hard. Failure banged with a sledgehammer. Failure went fucking Medieval on my ass with its Battering Ram of Suck.
Once a dazzling dressed-up thing to be adorned and admired, the dream soon fell victim to whoring, begging, and the ol’ shuck-n-jive; hat in hand, tap-dancing on corners for nickels. Shit, the dream even got knocked up, but Failure delivered a stillborn. The dream eventually succumbed to artistic syphilis, another ill-fated Fantine left to sputter and die.
And then that other dream, that tiny dream, the back-up dream, kept poking its head out from the covers under which I was hiding. As therapy, I started self-medicating by baking and drinking and drinking and baking. Eventually, ‘baketending’ became my everyday.
I was having fun for the first time in what felt like forever and it was quickly becoming profitable. Not in the monetary sense, not yet, but emotionally profitable.
People actually wanted what I was selling!
After years of prostituting myself on the seedy street corners of the entertainment industry, begging for work, demanding to be taken seriously as a writer, as an artist, as a woman, I finally found myself on the flip. As a ‘baketender’, I was desirable! My recipes were being requested for publication! I was lauded for my artistic execution! I felt supported as a female entrepreneur!
Could this be the dream I had been dreaming all along?
Sure. It didn’t come in a fancy dress, or on a red carpet or with a chorus of thundering applause. It came in scuffed-up clogs and a headscarf drenched in sweat, with burns up and down my forearms and an awful lot of swearing.
And it felt fuckin’ great.
As artists we don’t just seek applause, we require it. Admiration and acceptance is our raison d’être. Our egos must be fed. We know that rejection is part of the game and we prepare for it. We brace ourselves for it. We toughen our skin and resolve ourselves to believe deep in our hearts that what we are doing is a vital part of the community in which we live despite the odds. We tell ourselves, “Some day…” over and over and over again.
But at the end of that day, if the feedbag remains empty for too long, call it ‘cyclone technology’ all you want—it’s still just a goddamnmotherfucking vacuum.
I found my own way of escaping the rejection vortex and re-stocking the feedbag. Things haven’t turned out as I expected, but I’m learning [slowly] that life isn’t always the way you’ve scripted it.
As with any good producer or editor, Life has some notes, some thoughts, some suggestions, and if heeded, things might just turn out sweeter that you ever could have imagined.