A puppet had an existential crisis on stage and it brought me to tears.
This sentence feels strange to my tongue but also is 100% accurate. A big theme at Nerdcon: Stories this year seemed to be honesty as a storyteller. This meant that a lot of people touched on mental health. John Green gave an incredibly moving speech on mental health as a creative. This really hit me. I have been a proud work-a-holic since the age of 16. In 2015, I bragged about how I only had one day off between Halloween and Christmas. I've met a lot of people who are just like me. Proud to have pushed off their personal lives for work. Spending hours on set or in the office. Always on a phone keeping up with the latest news in entertainment. We wear work-a-holic as a badge of honor.
I went to a pretty unique school. There was a lot of debate about ethics and open ended questions. Nothing was ever clear cut. When I went on to college, most of the discussions ended with a teacher saying "this is what is right." There wasn't any talk about ethics or different solutions being good. It always seemed definite. I was intrigued, and started asking people in different majors. As I got into the film world, I thought surely someone must have taken a class on this, but no one did. We do not teach students how to handle these subjects complexly, how to think critically about open ended questions in our work.
That made me realize, if we can't think of our work in a complex way, when we are taught to hold it up to the highest extreme, how are we to think of ourselves complexly? How are we supposed to deal with the open ended questions about our lives?
I feel like we need to take more time in the class room to explore open questions. When is working too much too much? What lengths are worth it to get the perfect shot? What goes too far for the film? Just because you can, should you? I think it we took more time to have these discussions, then we'd have more possibilities in storytelling. We'd have a stronger community of cast and crews and writers. Our industry would be stronger if we acknowledged the hard questions.