When I was doing the acting bit in Hollywood in the early 90’s, we would have laughed at the idea of Web 2.0.
Hell, we laughed at the web in general. Who needed it?
Back then, the tech available for getting yourself seen was ridiculously primitive. We had three options:
- Pay a geek an unbelievable amount of money to post your headshot and bio on a crappy domain that nobody ever went to.
- Regularly spam as many agents and casting directors as you could find email addresses for.
- Work the phone yourself, acting as your own agent, booking auditions.
Yeah, you remember the brick phones and the pagers…
While these tactics may have been helpful, the bottom line always came down to the work. Sure, there was a sense of providence in the grabbing of a paid acting gig, but the artists that enjoyed that providence more often than not, were the ones that worked like mules. The real deal. The Skilled Workers.
- Not for fame.
- Not for cash.
- Not for a quick turn around.
It was about the work itself. The craft, if you want to get sentimental about it. These people were serious about what they did. Serious enough to starve for it. And I’m not just throwing an old cliché around here.
So now we’re playing with tools of creation and distribution that are infinitely more powerful than anything around in 1993.
So Ana Marie Cox grabs a book deal after three years of blogging.
So everyone goes crazy. Even more folks are taking up the laptop, thinking they have a shot at the big time. Fine. New York is always looking for the next Jonathan Swift.
Whether you like her stuff or not, I’d be willing to bet that Cox has not been casual in her use of these New Media firearms. And unless you’re only in it to write up the daily undertakings of your cat, neither should you.
Remember one thing when you’re looking into that beautiful, empty, .txt document.
No matter what happens to you, at the end of the day, you are alone with your work. You have to live with it, sleep with it, suffer the consequences of it and stand by it.
Don’t go for the cheap laugh. Get the real one.
Don’t think about New York, think about eternity.
Do your work. Do it well, when nobody is watching. Sweat it out.
Use the tools, don’t worship them.
And let New York worry about herself.
About the Author: Robert Bruce is Copyblogger Media’s Chief Copywriter and Resident Recluse.