It seems like it's something of a nostalgic week here at The Campfire. First, I posted what remained of a story I found in an old box; something I wrote when I was nine. Then my dear friend Andy Gattuso sent me this, a 2012 University Of The Arts Commencement Speech given by legendary writer Neil Gaiman. And it truly is breathtaking. For any artist, whether already trying to make their way in the world; for no matter how far you get, how successful you are, we're all still trying to make our way in the world. Or if you're just starting out, ready and willing to beat your head against that brick wall -- and be ready -- there are still moments of grace and passion like this speech that come from The Great Ones, of which Mr. Gaiman undoubtedly is.
But why is it nostalgic to me, you ask? Fair enough. Well, the first (real) screenplay I sat down to write -- this is 1992 -- was an adaptation of Mr. Gaiman's 'The High Cost Of Living.' You haven't heard of it? I'm not surprised. The film never got made. I just wrote it. For me, mostly, as I continued this storytelling passion of mine. As I continued learning the craft. I loved the story -- still do -- and it was invaluable, as Mr. Gaiman reiterates here, in making those necessary mistakes that are often more valuable than the successes. Since then I've written fifteen more screenplays, created four television shows, spec'd three teleplays and ... blah blah blah. Oh, you haven't heard of any of those either? Eh, one day I'll get there. After all, I too am still beating my head against that brick wall. All the while making mistakes, sure. But, also, all the while learning.
All the while making good art.
Thanks for sharing, Andy. You've always been in my corner. And I'll always love you for it.