Saturday, April 25, 2015

Creativity Coach Training - Negative Self Talk

2.  Try to notice your self-talk this week.  Write down any self-statements that you find interesting, perplexing, particularly negative, etc.  You don't have to "do" anything with them, just become better aware of them.

I had a very challenging week at work.  On Friday night I got to look at an empty loft space in downtown Los Angeles that I was to make into an art studio for Thursday filming.  The director and producers were adamant that the place look like an artist/professor of painting had lived there for 30 years.  They were also insistent that it look like one artist had made all the paintings.   This artist was supposed to mainly paint his college female students. In addition, there were very specific paintings mentioned in the script: a fat black woman, a hairy man with a large penis, and two paintings that when one was turned upside down looked like the yin yang symbol.

 I wasn't sure how I was going to pull off this enormous task. I didn't panic but I knew it was going to take a lot of work and I also had about ten other sets to dress for different characters before Thursday (a bar, a 2nd grade classroom, a school hallway, a boy's room, a single mom's house, etc. ).  I started to remember artists that I knew and began making calls as we were driving to the next locations to scout for filming.

I worked all weekend for free to find the art and furniture.  I found the perfect artist who had lots of painting who charged a decent price because I also had to function within a small budget.  I decorated all the other sets on the schedule too and by Wednesday afternoon I was completely exhausted.

On Thursday,  when I opened the set.  My expectation was lots of compliments.  That set (I believed) looked fantastic.  But when the director walked in, all that was on her mind, was specific paintings she now wanted, that were never discussed as being needed.  In all the meetings I had attended there were only 4 hero paintings.  Now she wanted miraculously every painting that was mentioned in the dialogue (which before she didn't need to see).  She also wanted to see a bedroom and kitchen dressed, which before she told me when would never see. So I scrambled, moved things around, and got very angry.  My thoughts were, thoughts I have many times:

I hate being a set decorator.

I hate this career why am I still doing after 20 years?

I hate the film and television industry the people in it are cruel and sadistic.

Why did I give up my whole weekend and work for free when I could have been working on my own art or even just relaxing?

Why am I not making a living as an artist?

I can't handle all this stress.

I am terrible under pressure.

I am terrible under stress.

Why do I let these assholes get to me?

Why did I think anyone would be pleased?

Why am I expecting compliments?

Why do I need to be affirmed?

Why did I get attached to this product when I know to stay detached?

Why did I believe the director when she said she wouldn't see the bedroom or the kitchen when experience tells me not trust anything said in the meetings?

Why did I take on finding the scripted paintings when in fact that is job of the prop master.  And now I was wild goose chasing and being blamed for being helpful and a team player?  Why did I not just say that it's not my job.

Why do I focus on the negative?  The producers, cinematographer writers and production design thought the set was marvelous.  Why do I need to dwell on the crazy maker director?

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