Thursday, May 15, 2014

Your First Project Doesn't Have to be Good, Just Done

Prolificacy hinges on the power of one.

History is rife with examples of famous creators and artists whose first projects, imperfect as they may have been, still got their careers on the runway:

The movie From Dusk Till Dawn wasn’t huge at the box office, but it launched George Clooney’s career as a movie star. Since then, he’s received over one hundred nominations and won more than fifty awards as an actor, writer and director.

The song Oh Susanna didn’t earn Stephen Foster much money, but it launched his career as a musician and composer who wrote hundreds of songs and earned multiple spots in songwriting halls of fame.

The book, And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was never as popular as any of Dr. Seuss’s later works, but it launched his career as the most beloved and prolific cartoonist and children’s author of all time.

In the classic slasher film Halloween, actress Jamie Lee Curtis was only paid eight thousand dollars for her performance, but it launched her career as a scream queen and allowed her to compile a body of work that spanned many genres.

The band Black Flag once allowed superfan Henry Rollins to perform on stage with them, and that impromptu audition launched his career as a musician, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, radio host, spoken word artist and activist.

The soundtrack When Harry Met Sally included mostly jazz standards, but it allowed Harry Connick Jr. to further expand his career as a musician to the national stage, ultimately selling twenty eight million albums worldwide.

The movie In Old Santa Fe featured Gene Autry, who only sang on screen for ten minutes, but it launched his career as a singing cowboy on the radio, in movies, and on television for more than three decades.

If you want to get on the runway, prolificacy hinges on the power of one.