Artists of all kinds must suffer the reality that many of their projects never see the light of day. The novel writer’s manuscript sits on their shelf where it gathers dust; the musician’s self-produced CDs pile up in the corner, unheard by other ears; the final draft of the filmmaker’s script is tucked away in a drawer, where it remains for years, as the screenwriter waits for the cavalry to come, recognise their genius, and finance, produce and distribute their project.

But this is a daydream, and these projects won’t start to gain traction until the artist makes this realisation:

The cavalry isn’t coming.

If you are determined to bring your ideas to life, and surround yourself with people who share a burning desire to tell this story, it won’t be long until you are there, on set, in the thick of your production, watching your vision come to life. In a moment of surrealism, you see actors vitalize the lines of dialogue that you wrote - when you were red-eyed and delirious at 2am - and imbue them with a musical energy, whilst the boom-op - maybe a neighbor or friend whose qualifications don’t extend beyond their ability to hold a pole for minutes at a time  - holds a microphone over their head, and the camera operator pulls focus before your yell, “And… Cut!” immortalising the moment that has unravelled before you.
What you will be reassured and maybe even a little bit moved to see here is that everyone is working together to make the same movie. That isn’t to say that, at your disposal, you have an entire crew submitting to every one of your commands, desperate to realise your genius and to do your creative vision the justice it deserves. No. Regardless of what the auteur theory has to say, you are not the author of your film and it will not reflect your artistic vision as much as it will reflect one of the many impulsive decisions that you made in a blind panic because - and here’s where we have to be honest with ourselves - we have no idea what we’re doing.

We’re filmmakers, writers, artists, comedians, etc.; that is to say, we are people not living with a real sense of things, hoping - with some futility - to put the world back together in a way that it can appear more balanced, malleable and sensical than it really is. And if we want to do so in a way that is creative, fun, perhaps even constructive for our careers, but without waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, it is important that we surround ourselves with people whose company we enjoy, whose values align with our own, and whose goodwill and commitment help us to be a better artist than we could ever hope to be when we’re alone.

The cavalry isn’t coming. They're already here. They’re your friends, your co-workers, and your neighbours.

Go out and find them.
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