JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE: EYAL WANTS TO KNOW — HOW MUCH ARE YOU WILLING TO SACRIFICE FOR YOUR ART?
I’m on a kick these days. My current kick involves trying to figure out exactly what the fuck people mean when they say certain things. Last “Jumping Darkness Parade,” I mentioned that I have no idea what anybody means by the word “great.” Well, here’s another one I just don’t get: “Sacrifice.” I know what the dictionary says it means. And there are a few different connotations for it. Sacrifice one thing in order to gain another. Or you could simply just be selling something at a loss.
So what does it really mean? I mean, clearly it has something to do with loss, but to what degree and under what conditions? When people say they’ve “sacrificed a lot,” what do they mean? Did they sacrifice their legs in combat for your freedom, or did they sacrifice going to Starbucks for a month so that they could buy a new iPhone? It’s another one of those words that gets thrown around with such frequency and with so much intent behind it, but is so subjective that I think it’s more of an accelerant for someone’s story than a word that carries much meaning… at least in most cases.
So when I think of musicians, bands, artists, and creative people of all types who say they want “it” (more on “it” in another installment), I wonder what exactly they are willing to give up for “it.” Would they be willing to sacrifice a normal social life? Would they be willing to sacrifice any hopes of security for an indefinite amount of time? Would they be willing to sacrifice relationships with significant others in order to keep the machine moving? Would they be willing to sacrifice their health? Would they be willing to sacrifice friendships? Would they be willing to sacrifice money they would rather spend on recreational activities? And if the answer is “yes,” than the obvious next question is, “To what degree are you willing to sacrifice?” What comes first? At what point is it too much sacrifice?
The reason I focus on creative people is because they surround me. I could focus on people in the military, but there’s absolutely no point. By virtue of being in the military, you have agreed to sacrifice whatever you may need to for your country. But in matters a little less “important,” like art… how far will people go?
I find that there comes a point where most people start to shy away from their creative pursuits. They typically start dropping like flies when it’s time to really start sacrificing some of their basic human needs — like shelter, love, and security. What do you hear about being band killers besides “creative differences” and drugs? Girls, kids, and money. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with having your priorities in life.
So the question there is, “How much are you willing to sacrifice for your art?” And an even more interesting question for those of us who put our creative pursuits (or any life pursuit, really) above anything and everything…. “Is there something really wrong with us?”