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How Lockdown Has Made Me Reimagine My Life As An Artist

Now that we're coming out of lockdown I've noticed that I've been, sort of, involuntarily put in a 6 moth period of self reflection that I have come out the other side of completely changed through no intention of my own. I wanted to write something about some lessons I think this period of reflection has taught me about how to be most useful to my community, friends, family and, of course, Art.

When you work in the entertainment industry you notice how much of your life is dictated by your career and "the industry". When you're earning lots of money in high profile projects suddenly people come back into your life and people seem to find you attractive. When you're out of work the opposite seems to happen. Whether this is because of your self esteem and the energy your omitting being reflected at you or whether other people just want to be on a ship that's sailing well in the hope it'll take them with them... No one ones. My hunch is both with a skew towards the latter. But what happens when there is nothing? What happens when suddenly that industry is removed and all that's left is people. How does this inform the world you relate to and the people you relate with?

If the industry is the world that's reflected back at you and all you see is how "it" sees you then you either see a sexy mother fucker or a ming depended on how well your careers going. If the mirrors gone then you're forced to face up to the unfortunate and inconvenient truth that you're actually a being and you have feelings and you have relationships to the world that are based on reality. That's what's happened during lockdown to me. The mirrors gone and we have to let the world be our mirror.

We spent so much of our lives drawing up out various goals and objectives for our careers. We want to make important work on the biggest stages. We want to write films and television that everyone will see. We want to make stuff that make people feel safer... But when no ones making anything because of a global pandemic we not only have to face up to the fact that we are now in the real world but also that we have a void where these goals were that actually reveals a lot of things we've neglected as humans. Suddenly we are faced with the realisation that there are human things we need that exist outside of what want from a industry. When the industry is removed all that's left is the needs that we have been ignoring. We are suddenly aware of our fragile humanity and how we have been neglecting it.

For me the biggest intersection of "human need" it's main obstacle "the industry" has been how the "ego" plays a part in it. Subtly, and profoundly, the way that "the industry" shapes the ego worms it's way, in a nuanced way, to our daily lives.

Before I go into the ego and relation to this it's worth noting what the ego is. The ego is really just a sense of success or failure to adhere to that's set by someone else. If someone says you're short (using an example at random not because I'm 5ft8) your response is actually because society tells us short men aren't as valuable. It's actually nonsense. I have slept with lots of women and been in love and have great friends, a career, a loving family... Which proves that short men aren't actually loathed by the world. If humans were hard wired to hate short men, bald men, fat women, non-conventional women, gingers... What ever. None of these people would breed and they'd be bred out. But guess what.. All those people are sexy and loved. So what does that tell us? Ego is fictional. It's not real. All the things that knock our ego about our life are just projections of a society that benefits from them. They don't stop us loving, living.... all that. So the same applies to the above. If we take the concept of ego to the above things we're left with a fulfilled life....

For me the things that hold me up in my pursuit of quenching needs are:

- Competition

- Drink, Drugs, Sex

- Fear of Judgement

- Work Life Balance

- Jealously

Competition is a big one in the entertainment industry. We spend a lot of time wishing that we were doing as well as other people. We spend years hoping that "the next big thing" will make us happy. And it doesn't. Because that's not how life works. If we take the ego out of compeition and we start to see our own choices and projects for what they are (the next thing we can do in our immediate capability that we think is important and will be good for us and audiences) then suddenly we see our careers as being impactful and important and in our control and NOT about being "successful". The EGO tells us that