What's up my fellow artist brothers and sisters? I was going to say I wonder how it is for you, but I actually feel I know your hearts and I know I'm not alone. We're afraid of sanity and afraid of insanity, afraid of the deep and afraid of the shallow so we dance somewhere in the middle. Am I wrong? I guess our reactions to the worlds of depth and shallowness define our inner tug of war, our battle with ourselves - and the split drives us crazy and drives us sane depending on where the swing wants to take us. It's like we are slaves of our own chemistry. Aren't we?
We long for perfection, purity and reality and have affairs with imperfection, impurity and fantasy. One minute we're good, the next we're bad and on and on it goes.
I auditioned for The Voice yesterday and as I'm sitting in the waiting room the only question I can ask myself is "What the hell am I doing here?" I guess the inner child is still after his dream of making it big and grand. So here's the demon that keeps me with a foot on the accelerator towards my dream and a foot on the break towards reality. Who am I without this battle? Am I still an artist? Am I still an interesting guy when I take the gloves off?
If there is one thing that defines any great artist, it seems to be the insecurity and self-doubt. Is it not? Why else would one sit in the middle of 15 thousand people looking to be seen and heard. Sure, our childhoods had lacks - did they not? Denial would be the only thing standing in the way of this fact. Creative souls have in common that empty black hole at the core of their beings - a hole we want to make whole by filling it with color. But when are we finished? Is there a finish line?
The hesitation and the push and pull make our voices quite unique, it makes us crack in the middle of a song we've sang well many times before. Do I want this or do I want that? Why am I so confused? We ask. Or don't we? What's holding us back from realizing our greatness? Is it really that we're being told "no" audition after audition or is it really that we simply sabotage our own success. Giving permission to any outside force to define whether we make it or not is a losing proposition. So why not book a few hours at a local recording studio and record that great song we wrote when we were 16? Is it selfish to do that? Or do we deserve it?
Asking is our drug of choice, aside from the occasional cigarette, or occasional drink or wacky choice-making. Why do we stay in our mediocre and shitty waters? Do we like to bitch? Certainly in those of us who seek have a passion for the realization of our potentials, but it's undeniable that at the same time we are terrified of the fact that we will not be any different or any happier when we make it. In fact, the opposite could show true. Ask Whitney or Michael, ask Elvis or Marilyn, as Judy or Kurt. We are deliciously sane and insane at the same time.
We can handle more rejection and withstand way more pressure than the average Joe, because our passion makes us extreme. People either love us or hate us as a reflection of our bipolarity and fear and love. We feel complete, we feel empty. We dance a wacky dance. Yay! I got called back... boo I'm heart broken from not making it to the end. We celebrate our peaks and get the blues through our crashes... we are up and down and up and down. When does it end?
Why don't we embrace our beauty? Why do we fear intimacy so much? We don't we allow ourselves to feel about ourselves the way we feel about the artist we admire most? We certainly are equally talented and passionate. Are we not? We are as unique, as beautiful and as perfectly imperfect as any diva or king out there. Are we not? We are incapable of conforming indefinitely, incapable of adapting for long without going crazy, incapable of keeping our souls to ourselves. We have got to share but fear sharing. What a conundrum.
Sure, there will come a point when the gloves come off and we dance our dance fearlessly. Even if it's too late and all we're left with is regret, but there will come that moment of release from the imbalance and we will navigate the flow of our own integrity. But everybody's timing is different and everybody's day comes exactly when it needs to come. So here's to not beating ourselves up and here's to trusting the grand plot that has each and everyone of us triumphant at the end of the ride. When the hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel vanishes, we know we've arrived... because the darkness and the tunnel are nothing but our own unfolding brains and when the chemical cocktails settle all we'll be left with is a memory of what we went through and we'll have something to share and tell. Not that the sane insanity will stop, but that we will not be fooled by the mirage as easily.
Maturity will save some of us - when our time has come.