Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Negative Assets

Quote of the Day: 
No one is useless in this world that 
lightens the burden of another.
~Charles Dickens~

Current Local Weather: 
Muddied waters are a-comin' due to 
the endless supply of the spring tears.

Currently on my iTunes:
"Waltz of the Nuke Workers"

Currently Reading:
"Big Spoon, Little Spoon"
*haha, I get to read this before anyone else!*

Dear Friends, Family and My Family of Friends, 

To See the World...

This blog is for the writers and artists in my life... and I'm writing this as your mentor, your boss, your agent, your lover, your hopeful liaison to everything you see when you close your eyes.

I just went to see the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. 



As an unabashed fan of the original short story, I was curious to see how Ben Stiller was going to treat it and more importantly, stretch it into a feature length movie. I ignored and refused to read any criticism or reports on the movie and patiently waited for it to deport from the big guns into the dollar theater. I didn't even sneak a peak and watch the "old" version of the movie or even entertain the idea of bootlegging it. I read it to my girls one night in preparation for going to see it. Their response to the story was...that's it?!?!  But...what happened to this...to that? Was it a dream? Was it real? 

Things Dangerous to Come....

As a budding literary snob, I had those same questions when I read it the first time. I am an American. I WANT EXCESSIVE DETAIL AND SWAG IN EVERYTHING I CONSUME! Dammit. I should have been a Gatsby.


I digress.

I could hardly contain myself during the movie. Ok, that's a partial lie. I couldn't contain myself. I had to get out my cell phone to light up my purse so I could pull out business cards, scraps of paper and gum wrappers to write down my thoughts while I watched. This kind of inspiration doesn't come easy to me. But G*d Dammit....that movie was the very best I've seen in...well, let's just say I feel a bit on this side of greatness having been one of the privileged ones to see it. 

To See Behind the Walls...

To treat this itty bitty significant story....so grand... with so much techni-f'in-color wonderfulness was far beyond any expectations I may have had. It's as if Jon Bon Jovi decided to put out his next hard rock album consisting of all Phillip Glass music. 



Draw Closer...

But through all the master cinematography and visual imagery, the AHA moment I walked away with lied simply in Mitty's job. He was the head of Negative Assets. 

Walter Mitty had everything in the world in his dreams and nothing, at least that he could think of, in his waking life. Sure...he has a great mom (Shirley McClaine is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. as a momma) and a quirky but lovable sister. 

To Find Each Other...

However, every great man deserves a woman. But where, as the E-harmony guy (Paton Oswald...another favorite) points out were his "Been there, done thats?" Surely he had to have ONE....



Alas, Walter Mitty had many in his dreams. Until one man left a message thanking him for his work...

And to feel...

I recently had to conquer a negative asset and figure out how to create assets that ooze positives. So, in my fashion, I started my own company. Janus Artistic Services. 



In an extensive meeting last night all four of us in the company worked out the verbage for the "why..."of the company. 

In very non-eloquent terms, I said that we basically exist to deal with all of the bullshit that no one else wants to do. We are here to serve artists in their every need and want. 



Our company slogan is, We Don't Sleep, So Artists Can Eat. 

The impetus, a.k.a. WHY...behind the company is the wanton need to take care of those that need us most so they can fulfill their dreams. We are here to serve those that are in the fight of their lives to find their true purpose and value. 

And I believe, having worked in this industry for...well, for a long time, that the journey must be done without the awareness of others but with the knowledge that often it's what we want most whether it's to be that star, to be the success we see when we close our eyes, is absolutely not something that needs the "like" button on Facebook. It's something that must be an asset to your character. It has to be DEEP inside of you to reach past the skin on your teeth. 



This life of yours needs to take place for yourself before seeking any kind of approval. You need to be the office, space cadet. You HAVE to be the Walter Mitty in your mind and dream a thousand dreams before you employee someone to listen to you talk about it. Hearing that it CAN'T be done your way or that YOU can't do what you want to do can kill your spirit, your heart and more importantly the invincible will when facing the impossible. 

Shooting down your dreams is like acquiring a manager to those negative assets in your life. 


It's dictionary time, kids! 

Asset (n) is defined as a useful or valuable thing, person, or quality. 

Negative (adj.) is defined as the absence of distinguishing, marked qualities or features, lacking positive attributes (opposite of positive). 

The words or job of someone that is a negative asset manager is a double negative in of itself. 

Whether you're an artist, a budding novelist, or musician with 40 yrs of gigs behind you and only 20 left ahead, your greatest asset is that you're POSITIVE that you've got your dreams in the palm of your hand and your head on your shoulders...and you should be able to rest knowing that what you have to offer the world, even if at the time it's only in your head, it will surely be of great use to others in the human race. Why would anyone with a dream take it...a noun with an adjective that's the most POSITIVE attribute of your core and turn it into a very dark, smellly, damning horse? 

You wouldn't. Never Compromise. Always Realize.

And in the end, Walter Mitty, the most selfless man in the story, had to realize that the hardest work is often done without the intent of recognition. Sometimes the pay you receive is only in knowing that you helped somebody else recognize their positive effects, assets and hidden life in their daydreams. 

The truth, even if only in your head, is tough. You must learn that in order to get the girl, realize your dreams, ignore the "Major Tom Weird Beard Guy" in your office and rid yourself of that negative asset taking up your hard-wired drive, that the truth lies in knowing what it means to be yourself.



And that is exactly what Walter Mitty did. 

He was no longer a dreamer, he was a doer.

And yes, SPOILER ALERT, he got the girl. 



And...he found the cover shot negative that seemingly spoiled his whole world.

Which, ironically, turned out to be a positive. 



I hope that all of you will be true to who you are regardless of your job. 

That you'll realize the "WHY" behind the "WHAT" you do every day and turn your assets away from the negative...

That is the purpose of life...

Yours in Assets, Office Assholes and Acclimating to the Truth, 

Cicily 









1 comment:

swordsoftheancients said...

Cicily, this was absolutely fantastic. I had very much the same feeling while watching Walter's adventures. I love that you've managed to tie the film into your endeavors within the creative industry. Thanks for sharing!