The 6 Most Insulting Things To Do To A Creative Person

I’m a grump. Most of my friends and family know this by now. My biggest fans are realizing it. People new to my life don’t know it but they’ll eventually see it.

But my grumpiness is usually justifiable. I’m never angry without a good reason. I’m never frustrated just to be frustrated. At times, I’m sad but so is everyone else in the world. If my feelings affect you it really is only because you wanted something from me. It could be anything from a favor to a quick joke to a “golden ticket” into a lifestyle that took me years to figure out.

There is a belief that creative people are more sensitive than others. Not really. Everyone is sensitive. Creative people just express it a little more. The reality is we sing, paint, act, write and joke about our sensitivity to deal with it. Other people tend to just bottle it up and hide it until it eats at them on their deathbed. But that’s something for you to deal with. Not me.

Being a creative leads people to believe you have life figured out. It’s intoxicating to be around someone filled with passion for their “dreams”. That’s what they call it, right? “Dreams”. Gives it a “meaning”. But true passion is really just a way to silence the “torture” in your head. I don’t mean to sound “artistic” because it really isn’t that extreme. It’s just life. Some people express their feelings with acrylic and some just use emojis.

Ok… so lets get to the subject of this blog. The Most Insulting Things to Do To A Creative Person.

    Asking for advice and then not taking it.

The Q & A. People love the Q & A. Funny thing is most artists can see it coming from a mile away. We can see the little glimmer in someone’s eye that has prepared two or three questions. These questions are pretty typical after a while. Honestly, I love talking about comedy. But I hate when the questions have no depth and the person asking is searching for the answer they already have in their head. The answer that makes sense to their life. They really don’t want the advice that you’ve lived.

I can talk for hours about my insight into comedy. Because it’s taken me years of asking myself “What am I doing” over and over again to reach this point in my life. And I’m still not even close to where I want to be. Then “Happy Hobby Bobby” wants to ask something as complex as “How did you know you wanted to be a stand up?” and get upset when my answer isn’t “Oh I was funny my whole life. I was the class clown. I was told by a mentor that I should try stand up. Then a famous person saw me and then I ended up on the Tonight Show.”

Or “Happy Hobby Bobby” will be like “How do I become a stand up?” then they get upset when my answer isn’t “Easy! I’ll put you onstage right now!” First off, this is usually after the show is over, so the club staff is working on closing the place down. The audience is in the parking lot looking for their cars. My dinner is getting cold. And you’re not even close to being ready to do stand up.

The frustration is I’ve honestly answered this question hundreds of times and not once has someone taken it and started being a stand up. Not once in the decade plus I’ve been performing. You want to be a stand up, go figure it out like I did.

    Dabbling

So you did an open mic. Great. You’re on your way to doing another open mic. Then after that one, you should do another one. I can’t walk with you through the process. No one walked with me. No one has ever been walked through the process.

You know what keeps you going. The intoxication of being around creatively driven people. Some people stick around just because it makes them feel good to have “tenure” as if that means anything.

What frustrates me is knowing when someone isn’t serious about being an artist. They dabble. That’s an insult. You think you can just stick a toe in the ocean and call yourself a deep sea diver. Then you expect me to come back up to see how you’re doing. It’s insulting to think that what I’m doing is so easy, that I should be grateful to get a chance to see you do it also. Nah. This is the way I make my living. This is what wakes me up in the morning and keeps me awake at night. This is what I need to do to feel normal. You just want to dabble because it looks fun. There is part of it that is fun but it’s not the part you think.

I enjoy Pixar movies but I’m not going to insult the people working on it by asking for a fast pass to becoming an animator. They started doodling since they were kids. They had moments in their life were people around them thought their passion was a silly fad. They may have had a few loved ones draw a line in the sand when it came to “a real life” and “doodling”.

And it only made sense when everyone saw their name in the credits. If you want to dabble, go ahead. Just don’t get hurt when I don’t stick around to see how it’s going for you.


    Suggest for the sake of suggesting

OH MY GOD! If you have no experience in the advice you’re giving, shut the fuck up. That’s it.

    Being in their space

Go read Stephen King’s On Writing. Take a highlighter to the parts of the book that he expresses the importance of having a creative space and locking everyone out. Take those pages to a Kinko’s, blow it up into poster size and put it outside your door. DON’T BE IN SOMEONE’S CREATIVE SPACE! You aren’t helping unless they ask you to be there. I don’t give a shit if you want to “see it”. Go see it when their desk is put into the Smithsonian. Then you can imagine how fun it was instead of actually seeing how quiet and boring it is. It’s fun in the artist’s head. It’s not a trampoline that we can all enjoy together.


    Thinking what they do is “cute”

FUCK YOU! It’s my life.

    Expecting them to be the person you created in your mind

There’s a reason they say to never meet your idols. To become a success takes intensity. Every person that is successful is insane. All of them. We’ve lived in our passion for years. We’ve lived in the “what if” scenarios again and again and again. We’ve had to silence our own doubt and then had to get successful enough to silence the very vocal doubters in our life. Every creative person is on the edge of losing it because it takes being on that edge to justify chasing the dream. It’s either do or die. And the biggest fear we have is being on our deathbed questioning why we didn’t even try.

But how would you know this. You aren’t in our heads as much as we are in our heads. And when you approach us, we see you just as a fan. Its up to you to prove to us that you aren’t the person we created in our minds.

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