No Doubt

Holy shit! I'm buffed!

Holy shit! I'm buffed!

Ah, Netfrix.  I mean, Netflix.  Asian accent.  When Conan, not the barbarian, O'Brien,  was ousted by Jay Leno's return to the Tonight Show, he had a clause in his contract that he couldn't go back on television for six months.  So he rebelled and went on tour and made a movie about it called Conan O'Brien Can't Stop.

There were two interesting things that I learned from that movie.  As he was finishing up the development of his tour, he had run into a phase of doubt.  Severe doubt.  This is a guy who has an incredible track record of writing good, funny stuff.  He's written for shows like the Simpsons and Saturday Night Live.  His run on the Late Night with Conan O'Brien from 1993-2009, The Tonight Show from 2009-2010 is nothing to sneeze at either.  So a guy like him, who has a huge fan base, shouldn't have doubts, right?

My Hair!

My Hair!

And according to Wikipedia, he settled for about 45 million dollars to leave. Doubts?

Yeah.  Doubts.

I was very surprised.

Who among us hasn't had doubts in any part of our lives?  I know when I sit to write, doubt is something I don't think about.  Neither is writing a best seller.  Writing the best story that I can is my focus, putting forward my most bestest effort ever.  Afterwards, doubt trickles into my consciousness.  Sometimes heart pounding doubt, in which I go back and revisit what I wrote with a magnifying glass.  But that only makes the words bigger.

But it's a small comfort that a guy like Conan has doubts.  Yes, he's human, and it's human nature to doubt.  But Nicholas Sparks is human.  At least I think so.  From some of his interviews I've read, he compares himself to Hemingway.  Now, I ain't gonna judge, your honor.  You can do whatever you want, but I've never liked people who had that mightier than thou attitude.  Get over yourself, dude.

In other words, you suck

In other words, you suck

You can't say that about Conan.  He self deprecates himself on his new show, nightly.  He's loyal to his crew.  Twelve million of that settlement went to them.  And he has an air of quiet confidence, which allows him to be self deprecating because, for the most part, he knows it ain't true.

The second thing I learned was  Conan never reads reviews.  Someone off camera had asked if he read reviews of his stage show.  His personal assistant states they're a waste of time.  I hear that a lot.  From broadway greats such as Lea Salonga, to great romance writer Nora Roberts, and famed Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe don't read reviews of their work.  Hell.  Johnny Depp doesn't even watch dailies, which I think are the takes filmed on that day.  And I agree.  I don't read comments made on my site, nor do I read comments about my writing on other sites, unless they're  my friends'.

You hear that?  Yes, I'm talking to you select people.  Welcome back and see Blacklisted.

Standing in a room of a hundred people, there can be a hundred varying opinions of me.  I can't control what they think.  I can't change what they think.  So why worry about what they think?  Everyone has an opinion, just as they do assholes.

Blacklisted

In storytelling, there are many techniques to add depth to a character, a scene, or overall spine of a story. A lot of what is said in dialogue can hint to each character's main trait, a trait defined as affecting the world they see. A woman is going to see the world differently than a man. An assertive/aggressive man will see a world as his oyster, where an unconfident one will see himself a victim. So actions and dialogue must coincide with those traits.

The world is your oyster

The world is your oyster

A way to bring a certain level of depth into the spine of a story was illustrated well in a movie called SEVEN SAMURAI. All of the samurai were killed by firearm. Though, it wasn't indicated in the movie where someone said, "Hey, Bro. All our Samurai brothahs got whacked by firearms." It was shown and spoke to how times were changing and the need for samurai was dying. We see this capped off at the end when the samurai left the village they helped defend. The villagers paid little attention as the samurai walked off into the horizon. Most audience members, including myself, wouldn't have noticed. The effect is to play on a subconscious level.

Was that you?

Was that you?

I'd received a call from an old friend and was told that I had been blacklisted from my former martial arts school. That my name was removed from a list of honored. I wondered if that was a mistake and thought back.  And here is where storytelling came into play.

At the school, after each teacher reached a certain level, the master called them by their first name. Being a formal school, everyone bowed and went by Mr. This and Ms. That. Once I reached that level, I was still referred to as Mr. Ng. Along the front of the school hung a line of pictures of the most esteemed. In the center, the master.  If you know the game musical chairs, then you should be familiar with the game the master played. Those most loyal, most accomplished, most respected found their picture closest to the center. Those who thought outside of the box had left the school due to creative differences. Their pictures moved further away from the center, or removed. Can you guess where my picture went?

My finger smells

My finger smells

As I logged into my site, I noticed that my one of my posts received a lot of comments.  I said to myself, "Wow. I haven't seen those names in a long time." People from the school. Those are the loyal, accomplished, esteemed.

Being purposefully blacklisted feels kinda cool. And their actions are very telling. They always talk about not having egos, taught that egos can get in the way.

But when a confident person is accused of something, something that they're not, they should remain silent. If you're confident that you're not a table, and someone accuses you of being a table, would you argue that you're not a table?

Now, I fully believe in what I said in that post. But I didn't name anyone or my formal school in anyway shape or form. So what does that say when students from that school come to argue against a post written about them? That what I said hit a nerve. And being blacklisted was done on purpose, which I totally accept as I had removed myself from that school many years ago.