You guys know that I am a big supporter of creating your own stuff. Whether it's a webseries, a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel - the idea of "if you build it, they will come" is always murmuring in the back of my head. Also - my mantra is "Why not try?"
This is true for a couple of reasons - people who make their own stuff have an ownership over their career. They are not waiting for someone to give them a job to feel creatively fulfilled. They are doing it themselves. That's powerful.
I want to give two examples: 1 personal and one about a person I (sort of) know.
I'll tell mine first because it is far less interesting, but still applies.
About a year ago I decided to start a podcast. I was listening to a bajillion podcasts while I hiked in my neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills and I don't know what gave me the idea that I could (or should) do it but I decided to. I love unsolved crimes - I love mysteries - I love Old Hollywood. There isn't a podcast out there that combines the 3 that I could find, so I started my own.
My fiancé is an amazingly talented graphic designer and I went to him and said "Okay, so I'm starting a podcast. Think 'Nancy Drew grew up, moved to Old Hollywood, and started a podcast' and I want each episode to come with maps so the listener can 'help solve the case.' Thoughts?" He was so sweet and so supportive and went to town on my graphics.
So next came the content. I started researching unsolved murders in Hollywood and found that in the Greater Los Angeles area the most interesting murders all happened from the 1920's to 1940's so I decided to focus on that. I told my fiancé that and he made graphics match that era.
I picked my 8 murders I was going to profile on the show and starting writing. Each episode takes about 15 hours just to research, 3 hours to record and 3 hours to edit. So each episode takes about the time of a part-time job.
At first I sprinted out of the gate - I was working on the show everyday. I was excited about it. And then the inevitable happened: I got burnt out.
And then I got a bad review. That lowered my ratings on iTunes and then I got another on Stitcher. They said I sounded like a "college project." Who was I to think that I would write, record, edit and manage a podcast on unsolved murder when I am not in the field of voice overs, producing, forensics or anything of the sort.
I walked away from the show for about 3 months. I took a break. And then I looked at my plays on SoundCloud.
My show had over 10k listens in just a few months with just 4 episodes out. How?
What I wasn't taking into account was that there might be other people who are interested in this topic but there are no podcasts out there like it (hence why I started it) or podcasts that have the interactive feature of maps and addresses. I'm not saying that my show is perfect, far from it, but now, a year later, the show has over 27,000 listens on just SoundCloud alone.
"If you build it, they will come." The internet is a weird place man. Put it out there and people will find it.
So I slowly started working on it again. I wasn't putting episodes as frequently - until I had a major opportunity fall into my lap. A large social media platform wanted to turn my show into series with a network on their app. I hadn't even thought that this side-art (more about that in another post) was something that could turn into something that would actually help my career.
I was meeting with the head of casting of a major network and she had a book on her desk about William Desmond Taylor - who is known as "Hollywood's First Murder" - so I asked her about it and it turns out that she is a huge unsolved true-crime fan as well! I was late to my next meeting because we were talking about theories and suspects and not even a week later, casting directors who worked under her started bringing me in to read for parts.
It's okay to get burnt out. It's okay to take a break. It's okay to regroup. BUT - you can't quit because it's hard. And something being "hard" is not the same as "losing inspiration" - you can get your inspiration back.
Who is ready for a MAJOR inspiration bomb?!
There is is this girl that I know through a friend named Stephanie. Stephanie is super talented. Stephanie wrote a webseries with her friend Brian. That webseries has been bought by Lionsgate and Anonymous Content to be made into a real series for a major platform. She is getting paid to be the creator, writer and star. All from about 30 minutes on YouTube. Don't get me wrong, she is SUPER TALENTED and put in crazy amounts of time, energy and work into creating an amazing show. But she did it - SHE CREATED IT. And now she is literally living her dream. So you can too! Put in the work, get rid of excuses, and make it happen.
You can do it - I believe in you!
Oh hey there
Thank you for stopping by. My name is Ansley and I am a creative being. With not much to show for it. Feel the same?! Welcome! For all of you artists out there who are just hanging in there - this is for you!