In the words of Mel Brooks' disappointingly not-as-good-as-I-thought-it-was-when-I-was-a-teenager musical, “I want to be a producer.”
As a kid, I always wanted to be an actor. (except for a few months when, as anyone with a decent teacher does, I wanted to be a teacher.) My friend Brent, in the last year of high school, said something that has always really stuck with me – “I always thought if you were going to make it, you'd make it as a writer.”
Maybe I'd just never even considered it as an option before then, but as soon as Brent suggested it, my brain started ticking, and I realised that I really enjoyed – loved, even – writing.
And, more importantly, that I was good at it.
(like all writers, I look back on my old stuff and cringe, but there's definite potential in most of it, and I was spending my time the two things you need to do to improve – writing and living a lot of life)
Now, seven years on, I've shifted my thinking again. I love writing, and I love being in front of the camera, but I think my real skill (and passion) lies in producing. I enjoy almost nothing more than helping to shape things, whether it's working with a collaborator on my own ideas, or being brought in to help knead someone else's brain-child into being.
I can think of nothing I'd enjoy more than spending the rest of my life as a producer, working on half a dozen projects at once, helping other people rewrite scripts, or pick actors, or tweak games for quiz shows, or just plain ole doing whatever needs to be done to get a project happening, get it working, and make it great.
“Unfortunately” isn't the word for it, because it's a necessary fact that I agree with, but…unfortunately, you need to have some success of your own before anyone will bring you in to produce their work. No one's going to listen to someone with a string of failures behind them, and I think I'm not sure I'd want to work with them if they did. So right now, I'm working on getting something working, trying to get make something that will get a name for myself out there.
I'm working on a dozen projects at once because I love it, and because there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. I'm trying to make them great because that's how you learn what works and what doesn't. And I focus on trying making them successful because I want to position myself as someone with a history of making successful works.
It's always seemed strange to me, that the only path to no longer being the person who prints the posters and buys the props is to first be the person who prints the posters and buys the props, but that's how the world works. We do the little things so that we can stop being the person who has to do the little things.
Me? I write because I don't necessarily want to be the person writing. I start projects that I think will work because I don't necessarily want to be the person starting the projects.
I want to be the person who helps other people get their projects off the ground. To do that, I have to first work on getting my projects off the ground. It's the only way to accomplish my dream of helping other people accomplish their dreams.