Well, this blog today is about how those three letters mess people up... How learning to forget those three letters leads to more pleasure in life... And how never writing those letters down to begin with is probably the best advice I was never given.
I'm not going to get so specific here with why this is a topic today, however I'll give you an example of how a perceived owed dept messed with me.
When I younger, struggling, I'd say "Yes" to a project because, well, I thought I was doing someone a favor... A favor. And perhaps, hopefully, they'd remember me down the line when they got paying work.
Well, I'm older now, and I'm here writing, explaining to you that the unwritten I.O.U. I wrote, only and could only lead to disappointments, frustrations and bitterness.
In New York, I said "Yes" to someone 12 plus years ago, to work on something he was writing... A screenplay. Twice every week, I'd walk or subway down to where he lived, and go over the script. I contributed. I rehearsed. I suggested. I had an I.O.U. written and signed in my head.
When the project moved forward. When he got financing for the project... He offered me an opportunity to audition for the role, the same role I had been rehearsing for weeks, maybe months. Now, while to this day, I think the whole thing was shitty, that asking me to audition after I had been working on developing the script, project and character was completely disrespectful... I also blame myself for writing an I.O.U. and not knowing any better...
However, this was one of my great life experiences... It taught me, everything is only what it is... And if it leads to something else, great. If it doesn't, it was all what I was told it was.
A thing is just a thing.
After finding out that he and his producers were going with a name actor, who wasn't a name actor, but a series regular on a first year cable network show... This same director EXPECTED me to continue rehearsing twice a week.
I'm not kidding.
Well, at that point I put my foot down. And while I was overly emotional about it, to this day I'd stand by that decision. I think I wrote a two page letter explaining my feelings and thoughts. Basically saying, my time and mind are valuable... If he wants to use either or both, an arrangement would have to be agreed upon. He would have to compensate me either with cash or attach me to the project as one of the other roles.
Well, he got defensive, and the whole thing went to sheeee-it really quickly. He wouldn't agree to any thing, no money, no attachment... Just some actual, "you do this for me now and I'll remember you in the future" he was verbally writing the same I.O.U. I had written.
When I pressed him to put that in writing he wouldn't do that either.
I felt used and stupid, and I'm sure he felt guilty and attacked.
Had I gone into the project saying... "This is what it is..."
Had I asked myself "Do I want to do this... As it is?"
Had I gotten out when it became something I didn't want to do any longer, and started to drain my time and resources...
I would have been much much happier.
By the way, to tie this particular story up... Several years later I found out who was cast in that role... It was while I was in an Equity Waiver show here in Los Angeles... Out at drinks with one of the other actors I found out he was on one season of a cable show that did one season... He was the "name" that was cast. Apparently the movie SUCKED, and the experience SUCKED... So, really what did I miss out on?
Would it have SUCKED had I played the role I help shape? I don't know, but today, I know my career, and I know what I learned... So, in a way I'm happy it worked out the way it did.
When you do volunteer work, do you expect to have homeless show up at your door and feed you breakfast in bed... Or expect that the kids that you help tutor to support you when they're older... Do you expect the Orangutans that you built things for to build you things?
No, because that's the agreement you make to yourself...
And you don't end up making a paper mache duiker of yourself.
Now I say "Yes" only when I want to say yes. If I don't want to say "Yes," I don't. And those times when I'm not sure, and I do say "Yes" I make sure my agreement with myself is that I'm saying "Yes" to the project, and I'm okay with the fact it is what it is. That I'm not writing an UOMe... Because while I only wrote one example, there were many... And had I learned what I know now earlier, I may have had more joy doing what I've done and put out better vibes while doing them.
I've done a lot of things for a lot of people in my life... I hope to continue to. A lot of people have done a lot of things for me... And I hope I'm done keeping score. People I enjoy working with, I'll continue to enjoy working with. I want to work with people I want to work with, because I want to work with them. I want to work on projects because I want to work on them... Or because the money or something is right about them. Agreements up front, are the agreements up front. $100 day movie with a percentage later, is EXACTLY that... It's not a favor. It's not an I.O.U. A webisode for no payment, but tape or exposure is that...
Yes I do have issue with those that promise things and don't deliver... And plenty of examples of those stories as well. Friendships are more difficult, as there's a less clear give and take... And knowing exactly what it is... Also business and friendship doesn't always mix. But like the "not delivering on promises," that's not today's blog.
-- No Longer Quiching Score ~ Tom Kiesche
BTW. If anything I ever write HELPS you in any way... I expect you HELP me later in my life... My future happiness and retirement plan depend on it.