Notions about success

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“Hello darling! Are you working?”, is the sort of greeting that is used often by performing arts practitioners, to size themselves up against peers or rivals. A well known actor even had a book published with that title. It is tempting to measure one’s success in those circles according to the number of projects one can reel off in conversation, talking about being booked several years ahead if possible.

In actual fact, it is probably healthy to have breaks in between jobs, in order to reflect about one’s technique and approaches towards the creative process. But there again, this needs to be gauged in relation to one’s ability to pay the bills in the meantime.

On one occasion I met an old school mate on a tube journey. He was intrusive enough to make judgemental statements about my career path and the lack of security, compared to the well heeled way of life he was accustomed to. The encounter made me wonder about the usefulness of maintaining any communication links with him from that point onwards. I tried to cast my mind back through the recesses of time, to a moment when I might have asked him for any form of support. I couldn’t think of any such event.

I believe I was brought up in a social group that was supposed to be regarded as refined, but it is quite possible that there are relative levels of refinement in the character traits in people of all backgrounds.

One can weigh up the pros and cons of choosing to accumulate objects, versus having a wide vivid range of experiences. If a person is fortunate enough to get paid well for what he or she does, then surely the wealth is eventually spent on an experience, whether this comes in the form of a material acquisition or if it is something intangible? If I was to meet someone who grew up in the same time and space with me who would want to be obnoxious about such matters today, I would say “horses for courses”.