I love Inside The Actor's Studio. Listening to actors, directors, etc. I've admired discuss how they struggled keeps me in the fight. One I specifically recall is Matt Damon's.
Matt said that when he was a kid, he remembered watching The Natural, starring Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs. Matt specifically quoted this scene: (thanks to IMDB for the inclusion).
Roy Hobbs: I coulda been better. I coulda broke every record in the book.
Iris Gaines: And then?
Roy Hobbs: And then? And then when I walked down the street people would've looked and they would've said there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in this game.
After the film, Matt claimed to be inspired. He went outside and found his mother. "Mom," he said. "When I walk down the street. I want to hear people say, 'There goes Matt Damon. The best there ever was."
Her reply? "That is the most self-obsessed thing I ever heard."
I also remember Brad Pitt telling a similar story. He called up his grandparents one day. His grandfather said, "I saw that movie you did."
"Oh yeah? Which one, Grandpa," says Brad.
"Hmm, I don't remember. Hang on."
Grandpa then shouted for his wife. Apparently, Gramps needed to ask which movie they recently watched featuring their grandson that he didn't like.
I bring these stories up because I had a similar funny instance a week ago.
I came home, opened up the computer, and saw an email...from Hugh Howey.
THE Hugh Howey.
Best-selling author and a pioneer of indie/self-publishing. I've practically stalked this man online for the past year. I've read his entire blog archive. His books. His interviews. All to soak up any scraps of advice he could provide me.
A week ago, he sent me an email. Only a few lines, but far more than he needed to do.
He had read my blog post. Congratulated me on Salted. Offered encouragement to keep going.
I read it to Karen at our kitchen table. Looked up when I finished and saw her teary-eyed at such a noble gesture from this idol of mine. Naturally, I needed to tell more people this great news!
I call Mom up. "Hey! You're never going to believe this! Hugh Howy just emailed me!"
Mom's reply: "Who's Hugh Howey?"
Understand I don't include the above example as a slight to either Mr. Howey, or my Mom.
If memory serves, Hugh just returned from a book tour in Europe. His bestselling novel, Wool, is set to be adapted for film and directed by some up-and-coming guy, Ridley Scott. (Mom, Mr. Scott directed blockbusters like Alien, Blade Runner, and Gladiator to name just a few). Pretty sure Hugh is doing okay.
As for Mom, well, she unintentionally did what parents/family are supposed to do: keep you humble.
While I've often said humility is one of my best qualities, (see what I did there?), I am thankful for this newest lesson.
Hugh mentioned in his email I should take pride in my accomplishment. That others out there in the wide world are already wishing they could be where I am.
Mom's reply brought me back to the reality: I still have a long way to go.
Again, no slight to Mom there. She'd be horrified if she thought her words cut me down and I didn't think she was proud of me.
I know she is.
All I'm trying to say is that if Mom didn't know who Hugh Howey is and he has all of these amazing things going on...
I have a loooong way to go. ;)
Author. Actor. Rascal.