Thursday, November 11, 2010

How Far Would You Go?

So the other morning after writing for three hours straight, I was enchanted by the charms of the sofa and remote control. Hey, the kids were in school and  the morning was mine to behold. I should've been writing more, but I was burnt from staring at the laptop screen.

Oh the joy of sinking into the sofa, remote in hand, for some quality vegetation. Pure bliss. Funny, when you spend so much time creating your own story and characters, it's such a treat to be entertained by someone else's for awhile. That old movie, Tootsie, was on--just starting--so I set down the remote and got comfy.

I've seen Tootsie before, but it's been a long time, so I didn't remember all the dialogue, just the premise for the story. Why am I telling you about it?? Because Dustin Hoffman's character, Michael Doresy, is someone to make note of. A talented actor with a difficult-to-work-with attitude, Michael finds work by impersonating a woman, which earns him a role on a successful soap opera.

Michael's agent warned him no director would hire him because of his reputation for his argumentative side--I mean, this guy argues about why the sky is blue, kind of thing. But Michael is a really good actor. He knows it. And dressing up as a woman is the only way for him to get work as an actor. Of course, there's all kinds of problems this causes--trying to juggle both lives as man and woman. But Michael is so passionate about his work, he is willing to suffer through it.


There was a scene with Michael and his agent talking about why he would want to continue impersonating a woman just so he can act. Michael was so passionate--he said he'd rather be acting as a woman than not acting at all. His point being that the work--or the art of it--was so important, that he was learning the craft even while impersonating the woman. That's how far he'd go to be able to act.

Then once he was used to being treated as a woman, he felt like he had a message for other women. His passion ignited even further and he was doing something he loved while trying to help other people. Wow! Is that like a dream or what?

Reason I'm bringing up Tootsie in the first place is because I was applying it to life as a writer. How far would you go for your craft? Are you passionate about it? Willing to step outside your comfort zone in order to make things happen?

Sometimes that's what it takes. And I don't mean impersonation ... lol , that is, unless it really floats your boat ... But I mean doing whatever it takes to be an author / writer. Maybe it's skipping that dinner out, or that movie you've been dying to see. Maybe you give up your entire day off to research and query agents, or to finish that WIP that your editor's been waiting on.

Passion fuels our desires. Passion makes things happen.


Mary said...

Great post! What would I give up? For me sleep is precious, and occasionally I give up some of those precious dream moments and write.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've given up some things. Not ready to dress like a woman though. That's not going to happen!

E.J. Wesley said...

How could I not respond to a "Tootsie" post? :)

I sometimes wear my fake Stephen King beard and laugh like Jo Rowling when I write, so impersonation seems to work for me!

Quinn said...

I'm reminded of the Simpsons.

Bart wants to go to the Krusty Anniversary Special, but doesn't have a ticket. Lisa's been invited by Ralph Wiggum. Bart pleads with her to let him go instead, dressed as her.

Lisa: But he may want to hold hands.

Bart: I'm prepared to make that sacrifice.

Lisa: But he may want to kiss.

Bart: I'm prepared to make that sacrifice.

Lisa: But he may ...

Bart: Lis -- *puts hand on her shoulder* -- you don't want to know how far I'm willing to go.

I'll agree with him.

LM Preston said...

Most writer's I've met are passionate, but being passionate about your goal as a writer is different for each person. Some people just love to write without the thought of pursuing sharing their stories with the masses. Others want to be the next famously rich author who doesn't work a day job. For me, I'm passionate about my writing, and I write a lot for it not to be my life long dream to sit and write all day as my job. But for me, I love it because it gives me an outlet when the other passions in my life get hectic.

LTM said...

oh, hell, P, I do stuff like this all the time! LOL! So far it seems I'll do a lot! :D

you're right, Tootsie is a fantastic film. I saw it for the first time just a few years ago. Excellent stuff~ :o)

Melissa said...

Fabulous post. I'd give up a lot in my life to be able to just write. Pretty much everything except my family and basic needs. And my cat. Can't live without my cat.

Never heard of this movie but it sounds like its worth watching.

Helen Ginger said...

Like anyone dedicated to what they want to do, writers give up a lot, like hours and hours of their day.

I should go back and watch Tootsie. It's been a long time since I saw it!

Marissa Farrar said...

Loved the post and loved the movie. I think writers give up reality to become great at what they do. It is an all encompasing past-time, and to be successful you have to give it everything you have. God-bless the patient husbands and children who stand by our sides, waiting for us to come back to reality long enough to cook dinner!

Mohamed Mughal said...

The sofa and remote? Hey, isn't that a guy-thing? :)

Glad to see you enjoy it as well!

T.Knowley said...

Tootsie really is a great movie.

I think whatever your passion is in life becomes your life, so even though you may be giving up something else to pursue your passions, most times you are unaware that you did.

Madeleine said...

Great post, yes passion is a powerful ingredient. :O)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

The last conference I went to one of the speakers talked about this...You have to be passionate about what you are writing about. You have to know and love the topic. You can't write about WWII if you have no interest in it. You can't write romance if you've never been in love...Immerse yourself into your passion...know what you are writing about.

Regina said...

I love this post because it forces us to really think about it. I mean seriously think it through.